Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng believes he is close to regaining full fitness following a year of injury problems.
The Germany international endured a stop-start 2017, but has returned to training in the new year at a camp in Doha in buoyant mood.
Jupp Heynckes’ side resume their Bundesliga campaign with next Friday’s trip to Bayer Leverkusen and the coach had some words of encouragement for Boateng.
“He told me he has no complaints about me at the moment,” the 29-year-old said in quotes reported by the club’s official website.
“At the moment I feel really good. I’d say that I ended 2017 at 80 per cent. If I can get through this week, I’ll be back at 100 per cent.”
A combination of issues, including chest, thigh and muscular problems, restricted Boateng to featuring in only 24 of Bayern’s 52 games last year and he found that hard to take.
“It wasn’t an easy time. It can take almost a year to get back to how you felt before,” he added, referencing the chest operation he underwent in December 2016.
“The strength in my chest was gone, which changed my running style and my whole dynamic. That’s affected other things again.”
But with his return to the training field complete, Boateng was glad to be testing his body once again.
He said of his current workload: “It’s not too much, but it’s certainly enough. You feel like you’ve done something. I think that’s good. That’s how it is in mid-season training.
“I hope now that I can stay consistent and fit.”