Gio Reyna says he expects to be fully fit within the fortnight after coming through over an hour of Saturday’s Revierderby win over Schalke without any ill-effects.
The USMNT international heads off to represent his country in friendlies with Japan in Düsseldorf and Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, over the coming weeks and he believes those two outings will help him to shake off any remaining cobwebs after a spell on the sidelines with recurring muscular issues.
“Today was kind of the first game when I really felt up to par and my legs felt really up to 100%, being able to push and do all the movements and I wasn’t really as gassed today as other games,” Reyna said Saturday. “I felt good today and felt I got a lot of the ball.
“I’m still working hard and hope that, after the international break, I‘m pretty close to being fully fit and playing a lot of games.”
Watch: Reyna on "amazing" Revierderby win
Reyna has been forced to watch on from the sidelines for much of the current season with knocks and niggles preventing him from reaching peak condition.
The 19-year-old missed 32 of Dortmund’s 46 matches in all competitions last season, which is why he has not been pushing himself too hard on the comeback trail.
It was ironically an injury to teammate Marco Reus which saw Reyna thrown into the Revierderby after just half an hour, but having come through that particularly physically intense fixture unscathed, Reyna says he is now looking forward to returning to national team football over the next fortnight, to sharpen his game and condition further.
“I’m very, very excited to get back – it’s been a while since I’ve really been able to play,” Reyna said.
“It’s such a great group of guys that we have and I was bummed out missing it last year and it’s nice to get a break from Germany and hang out with a few Americans. It’s great, and always an honour to represent your country. It’s a big camp and I’m going to work hard.”
Following the international break, Reyna – who has started both of Dortmund’s UEFA Champions League matches this season – hopes to help head coach Edin Terzic manage his resources effectively throughout a packed schedule of fixtures by making himself fully available for selection.
Dortmund kick off a run of 13 games in 41 days with back-to-back away games at Cologne in the Bundesliga and Sevilla in the Champions League, before hosting Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker on 8 October. High-flying Union Berlin are next on the agenda with Reyna’s return coming as a big boost for Terzic, albeit with the caveat that it coincides with the loss of Reus for several weeks.
“It’s going to be a big loss for us but we have bodies and lot of young energy so we’ll try to do our best,” Reyna said.
“There are not really any positives to take away when a leader and a really important player for us is out. It’s tough to say, but we have a lot of guys who can step up in this role. We have many types of player who can fill in for him, so we’ve got to keep on working and see what happens.”
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