Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus returned to team training on Wednesday and coach Peter Stoger said he liked what he had seen from him.
Reus, 28, was back with his teammates as BVB trained in Marbella, Spain, taking a significant step towards his comeback from knee surgery in June.
The winger has not featured since the DFB Pokal final in May, during which he suffered a partial cruciate ligament tear.
He now appears on target to make his return to the team in February, allowing him time to regain full fitness to compete for a place in Germany’s World Cup squad.
And Stoger told reporters: “I am not a doctor — but what I saw, I liked that very much.
“Still, he will need some time. But just watching him, you could think he’s already ready because he’s such an outstanding footballer.”
Alongside Reus, fellow Germany international Mario Gotze, midfielder Gonzalo Castro and right-back Lukasz Piszczek also resumed training.
The quartet wore blue jerseys during the match, signalling to their teammates not to tackle or go into one-on-one situations with them.
“They are all good footballers, and you can build something good from it,” Stoger said. “This makes it very exciting for us.”
Meanwhile, local newspaper Ruhr Nachrichten reported on Thursday that Dortmund have “stepped up contact with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.”
The Armenia international has become surplus to requirements at Manchester United, who he joined from Dortmund in summer 2016.