Eintracht Frankfurt’s Mexican metronome is yet to feature in 2017 after injuring his back. The Eagles’ most productive attacking player with three goals and four assists so far this season, player, club and fans alike cannot wait to see the midfielder back in action.
Fabian sat down with bundesliga.com to spill the beans on his journey back from the brink, and as is apparent, it’s not the first time the 27-year-old has had to overcome significant obstacles…
"It’s a pleasure to be back in training,” said Fabian, who expects to be ready to feature as soon as the game against Hamburg on Matchday 25. “I was missing but now I’m much better. It’s been a difficult month with all that I’ve suffered. But today, thank God, I can say that I’m closer to returning.
Watch: Owo meets Marco Fabian:
Nearly 1,000 kilometres separate Fabian’s native Guadalajara in Mexico from his current home of Frankfurt am Main in Hesse, Germany, and difficulties in adjusting were perhaps to have been expected.
Fabian became the seventh Mexican to play in the Bundesliga when he joined Eintracht from local club Guadalajara. Pavel Pardo and Ricardo Osorio won the Bundesliga title with VfB Stuttgart in 2007, while Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez – Fabian’s childhood best friend – lit up the league in his maiden campaign, plundering 17 goals as Bayer Leverkusen finished third. But for Fabian, the path has been bumpier.
"In the first few weeks of the injury they couldn't find exactly what was wrong with me,” said Fabian of what ultimately proved to be a pinched sciatic nerve in his back. “After visiting many doctors, we found out what my problem was. Now I’m getting injections and leaving the pain behind bit by bit.”
Initially, he struggled to win the trust of Eintracht coach Niko Kovac – formerly an all-action midfielder who won the Bundesliga himself with Bayern Munich in 2003 – but Fabian began this season like a man possessed, and it sounds like he is ready to pick up where he left off in a matter of weeks.
"There are no words to describe recovering and being able to play. Sometimes we fail to value our moments on the pitch. When you are away you have time to ponder. Football is the thing I love. I dreamed of touching a ball, when I couldn’t even stand up to go to the bathroom. I could not get dressed without help. I thank God I can now get strong again, because I lost about two or three kilos.”
Fabian plans to returns against HSV in two weeks, though a date with Borussia Mönchengladbach on 1 April might prove a more realistic aim. His return can’t come soon enough for the Eagles. Fabian has been the wind beneath their wings this season, but he remains humble:
"Greetings to all of Mexico!” he concluded. “I hope to bring you good news and, as always, a smile!"