Fortuna Düsseldorf and USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen took a significant step towards making his comeback on Wednesday by training for the first time since sustaining a knee injury last year.
The 24-year-old played in all 17 of Düsseldorf’s Bundesliga games in the first half of this season, but has not featured at all in 2020 due to a persistent knee complaint.
That could change in the coming weeks, however, with head coach Uwe Rösler confirming that Steffen has now returned to the training pitch.
“Zack trained out on the pitch for the first time today, which was great,” he said at a press conference ahead of Düsseldorf’s Matchday 26 clash at home to Paderborn on Friday.
“But there's no need asking yet if he’s ready to play: he still needs some time.
“He did some work with the goalkeeping coach and some with the physio. That means he’s still got a way to go, but it’s definitely positive and he came through the session well. He didn’t have any problems afterwards, so it’s very positive.”
Florian Kastenmeier has deputised in Steffen’s absence, and although Fortuna have shown signs of improvement under Rösler, they remain in a precarious position in 16th place on 22 points, having won one, drawn four and lost three matches so far this year.