Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus says "everything is an option" in terms of his comeback from injury, hinting that he could be fit for the start of the new 2020/21 Bundesliga season.
Reus has been out since injuring an adductor muscle in February, which forced him to miss Dortmund's last 14 games of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. The 31-year-old then suffered a fresh setback in late July by developing tendonitis on the same muscle, with BVB announcing that he would be sidelined "indefinitely".
However, the BVB captain has returned to action more quickly than expected and linked up with his teammates in training in mid-August, following the squad's return from their summer training camp in the Swiss town of Bad Ragaz.
Reus offered further hope that he could be back in competitive matches sooner rather than later in an interview with Dortmund's in-house BVB.TV channel following two friendlies against Paderborn and Bochum on 28 August.
"If things keep going the way they are, everything's an option," he said in response to a question asking if he could play in Dortmund's DFB Cup first-round tie against MSV Duisburg on 14 September.
"At the end of the day it's up to the coach to decide. I wasn't sidelined for just two weeks, it was a bit longer than that.
"I've been back in Dortmund since last Tuesday and have been taking part in full training normally all week. I'm really happy that things are gradually getting better and that I can push myself out on the pitch. It's important to get in a lot of training sessions."
Watch: All of Marco Reus' goals and assists in 2019/20
Reus did not feature against either Paderborn or Bochum, but is "hopeful" that he can play in another friendly before the cup gets under way.
"For me the important thing is to get to a level where I'm confident I can play," he continued. "Whether that's in the cup or in the first, second or third Bundesliga game of the season doesn't matter to me."
Before sustaining that groin injury at the start of the year, Reus had been enjoying a superb run of form with his hometown club, contributing 11 goals and five assists to their title chase. After his last league outing - a 5-0 thrashing of Union Berlin on Matchday 20 – BVB sat just three points off top spot, but ultimately ended up 13 adrift of champions Bayern Munich.
Reus had returned to team training in early June but was still working his way back to full fitness when he was struck by tendonitis.
The attacking midfielder has not been spared by injuries down the years, with an ankle injury costing him a place in Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning squad. The 44-time international also missed much of 2017/18 due to a cruciate ligament rupture.
Dortmund have already set about strengthening their midfield for the new season as they look to end Bayern's eight-year stranglehold on the Meisterschale, with England U17 starlet Jude Bellingham signing from Birmingham City and highly rated Brazil U23 international Reinier joining on loan from Real Madrid.