Marco Reus has a habit of rising high after every low in his career. - © © imago / Uwe Kraft
Marco Reus has a habit of rising high after every low in his career. - © © imago / Uwe Kraft

The story of Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund's Comeback Kid

Marco Reus' latest injury setback provides the Borussia Dortmund star with yet another opportunity to show he can handle whatever is thrown at him and come out the other side as good as new.

Before Dortmund's DFB Cup final showdown with Frankfurt, Reus had said he "would play the final on one leg if necessary." Instead, he ended it like that.

The grimace on his face as he lay on the side of the Olympiastadion pitch late in the first half told its own story, and fears the Fates had dealt him another low hand were confirmed soon afterwards.

But the BVB star has proven himself breathtakingly resilient in the past - and on the day he turns 28, looks at the remarkable story of a man who has taken the frustration of gruelling spells on the treatment table out on opponents with stunning performances when he has returned to the pitch.

2014 FIFA World Cup: In front of the TV, not on it

It should have been the crowning moment of his career. After 16 goals and 14 assists in 30 Bundesliga appearances, Reus was in stunning form. A shoo-in for not only the Germany squad but Joachim Löw's starting line-up, the Dortmund man was set to sparkle in Brazil… right up until ten days before the the Nationalmannschaft's opening group stage encounter.

"It was a tackle just like one that always happens in a game," Löw said when asked to try to explain the ankle injury picked up in a friendly against Armenia that would leave one of his star performers watching from his sofa while his team-mates were crowned world champions. "A dream was shattered from one second to the next," said Reus himself. His shirt, paraded by friend and now BVB team-mate Mario Götze during the celebrations inside the Maracana must have warmed his heart, but cannot have taken away all the pain.

Watch: Schürrle, Götze and Reus - Dortmund's BFFs

2014/15: A nightmare season

Many players have a season to forget in their careers. Reus' is surely 2014/15. After overcoming the injury that left him kicking his injured heels at home while Philipp Lahm & Co. became Weltmeisters, Reus suffered another ankle problem in Germany's UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier with Scotland, missing five games, and then faced an identical absence having been clattered into by Paderborn's Marvin Bakalorz on Matchday 12.

Out for the Hinrunde, he returned, and quickly found form with a burst of four goals in as many Bundesliga games, as well as claiming his team's solitary strike in their UEFA Champions League Last 16 defeat to Juventus. His return of seven goals and five assists in 20 Bundesliga games was - under the circumstances, and compounded by the misery of missing out on a World Cup winner's medal - more than admirable.

2015/16: EURO heartache

Reus picked up where he left off when the new season arrived, and virtually injury-free, he showed his talent and self-belief remained firmly intact. Twelve goals and four assists flowed in 26 Bundesliga games, backed up by nine and two in 13 in the UEFA Europa League, and two and two in four DFB Cup outings.

Back with a boom

If anyone doubted Reus could return to his devastating, game-turning best, the stats spoke for themselves, and in the context of his previous season it was all the more special. It again should have been capped by a major international tournament, but a misbehaving groin muscle put paid to his ambitions of featuring at UEFA EURO 2016.

Reus' injury jinx meant his face was far more often seen on the front cover of EA Sports' FIFA 2017 than on the pitch in the early stages of 2016/17.  While the virtual Reus terrorised defences in the digital world, the flesh-and-blood version had to nurse himself back to full health.

That meant his first game of the 2016/17 campaign came in late November with Legia Warsaw the UEFA Champions League group stage guests at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK. It also marked the moment when the virtual became real. The game will be remembered for being the competition's highest-scoring encounter, but Reus was the catalyst for the historic evening.

His return from 185 days out could not have been more fairytale had the Brothers Grimm scripted it themselves as Reus scored twice and had a hand in two more in an eye-watering 8-4 win. His three assists in the win over former club Gladbach before Christmas in his second Bundesliga appearance of the season put a definitive end to fears his powers were diminished.

Watch: Marco Reus put on a clinic in the Battle of the Borussias on Matchday 13:

Unfortunately, it did not put an end to the niggles that returned to haunt him throughout the campaign, but he again lifted himself successfully off the treatment table, and hit the pitch not so much running, as sprinting full tilt into opposition defences to devastating effect.

After a six-week lay-off due to a thigh injury, he hit five goals in his final six league matches of the season, including a tone-setting early goal in the win against Hoffenheim and his decisive Matchday 34 brace against Bremen. Without that burst of form, Dortmund would surely be facing the potentially perilous fate of Julian Nagelsmann's men in the Champions League play-off rather than already looking forward to the group stages.

Watch: Reus inspired Dortmund to victory on the final day of the season

"He has gained a lot in character," former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel stated of his beleaguered star recently, and no doubt the knee injury he sustained in Berlin will smooth the rough edges and shape him still more. It is another setback, but the 28-year-old is used to those, and as he has shown time and again, when he comes back, look out!

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