After 259 days on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury, Borussia Dortmund superstar Marco Reus is edging ever closer to a comeback – and the cherry on top could be a return to action with best buddy Mario Götze this weekend.
It is over a year since the duo were last on a Bundesliga pitch together: a 1-1 draw away to Mainz on 29 January 2017. Reus scored BVB's goal in that fixture, with Götze coming on as a 66th-minute substitute for Raphael Guerreiro.
However, since then the two Germany internationals have struggled for fitness, with a "metabolic disturbance" and then a series of niggling injuries preventing Götze from playing, before Reus sustained his knee injury in the DFB Cup final against Frankfurt in May.
"I know that Marco would like to play and we'd like to have him," said Dortmund head coach Peter Stöger in the build-up to his side's Matchday 22 assignment with Hamburg on Saturday. "But we need to be careful after such a long absence. We'll make a decision on the day. He's one of the few players that are able to have a big impact on a game. Given the quality he has, as well as his speed and technique, he's very important for the team."
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It remains to be seen whether or not Reus will be included in the squad to face HSV, but Götze should return to the line-up after overcoming a back complaint that forced him to miss Dortmund's 3-2 win in Cologne last time out. "Mario's shrugged off his problems, he's doing well," Stöger confirmed.
The prospect of Reus and Götze dovetailing together once more is an exciting one for Dortmund fans, especially as the club are pushing for a top-four Bundesliga finish and are also in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.