Nuri Sahin has been on the treatment table since March - his last league appearance coming against rivals Schalke. However, the midfielder is eyeing up a first-team return before the end of the Bundesliga campaign.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin hopes to bring the curtain down on a horrid period of injuries with a return to first-team action in the second half of the season.
The Turkish international has been sidelined since March with a knee problem, whilst any return to full training has been curtailed by a clutch of other muscle problems. A two-time championship winner under Jürgen Klopp, Sahin secured a return to Signal Iduna Park in 2014 following spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool.
But since his permanent return, his career has been blighted by injuries. Now in the final stages of rehabilitation, the 27-year-old is confident that he can be in contention before the end of the league season. "I'm doing really well. Our goals for the training camp have been achieved thus far," he told "Kicker".
"I prefer that it (a comeback) happens today, but I need to be patient," he added. "I have been patient now for several months on my patience it should not fail. I have learned a lot in that time and I'm confident that I will soon again be back on the pitch."
Since Sahin's injury problems, Dortmund's midfield responsibilites have fallen to Julian Weigl, a summer signing from 1860 Munich, and Ilkay Gündogan. Although Sahin is in contention for Weigl's position in the team, the injured midfielder is encouraged by competition for places.
"I'm not there yet where I can say: watch out guys, I come back and then everything will change," Sahin said. "But I'm not there yet. Right now, we need quality and depth when you see how much teams lose in the decisive months. Bayern, for example, were without Ribery and Robben this season."
Eight points behind league-leaders Bayern Munich, Dortmund are almost certainly competing now for second place, which would secure a return to the Champions League. Bridging the gap to the Bavarians remains a concern, but Sahin offered a stiff defense of the league in comparison with experiences in England and Spain.
"What was there in Italy in the 90s is now here in Germany. The league has developed well tactically. This can be seen in the recent successes of the German national team and teams in Europe," he said. When asked what other sides need to catch Bayern in the league, he responded: "Give me 500 million, and then I can build a team."