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Battling Breno

Injured centre-half promises ‘huge effort’

Breno used the table leg to gently support his right knee, the scars from his operation still visible, as he patiently and thoughtfully answered reporters’ questions. Breno talks as he plays. “I’m calm, but totally focused,” as he himself said. However, Breno Vinicius Rodrigues Borges still has a little way to go before showing off his skills on the field of play. “Ideally I’d be back on the field tomorrow, but we have to be cautious,” the Brazilian acknowledged. The moment will come in about two months, he thinks.

Until then, Breno will continue to train on his own. Some five months since rupturing a cruciate ligament and meniscus, his sports rehabilitation programme is going well, and he has recently resumed running, although his knee is far from healed yet. He is using a special treadmill to gradually increase the load on the knee, and hopes to be running normally again soon.

Fond memories of Nürnberg

“I’m in outstanding shape, and I’m feeling great,” Breno reported on Thursday. The foul by Leverkusen’s Stefan Reinartz which saw him stretchered off in March this year is history, although he will never entirely forget it, the player said, as no tackle will ever quite be the same.

But Breno is convinced of his ability to cope, and despite the serious injury, his memories of the last six months are fond ones. The player was loaned to Nürnberg in January and picked up invaluable match practice. “I had a great time in Nürnberg and want to express my thanks for the chance to play and show what I can do,” he said, “it did me a lot of good to get back into the rhythm of playing.”