Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek showed he is not just sitting with his feet up at home after rupturing knee ligaments by taking the first tentative steps in a possible coaching career, back home at his first club LKS Goczałkowice-Zdrój.
The 32-year-old is not expected to play again in 2017 after picking up the knee injury while on international duty last week, but that is not going to prevent him from playing an active role – from the touchline.
Piszczek's bond with the first club of his career, where his father is still vice-president, remains strong and he lent a hand to their coaching staff, providing the insight gained from years of Bundesliga experience, to help them beat Bytom Sport 3-1 at the weekend.
The full-back, who missed Dortmund's 3-2 defeat to Leipzig on Saturday, has been providing support from afar for the past four years, responding to an appeal from the club for help from former players. He contacted a friend, Damian Baron, with whom he played as a youngster at Gwarek Zabrze where they won the Polish junior title in 2004 and asked him to lend a hand.
"He'd finished playing and was working at the mine," Piszczek recalled. "I said to him, 'Damian, we need a good player. You have your coaching badges, you can also lead the boys.' He became player-coach. I try to help him. We often talk about training session or tactics."
Watch: Owomoyela meets Piszczek
The Polish club celebrated the greatest achievement in their 57-year history by earning promotion to the fourth division last season and Piszczek, who insisted on them streaming all of their games live on Facebook so that he could follow them from Dortmund, was able to get a closer look at the weekend, swinging his crutches to give indications as he helped coach them to victory.
Until his injury, Piszczek had started every competitive game in 2017/18 for Bundesliga leaders Dortmund, who will look to bounce back from defeat to Leipzig when they take on Cypriot side APOEL in UEFA Champions League Group H on Tuesday night.