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Summer signing 'upbeat'

Götze's confidence high after injury

As anyone watching him in recent days instantly saw, Mario Götze has developed itchy feet - in the most positive sense of course. After returning from international duty with Germany, the summer signing put in a voluntary training shift on Wednesday. The whole squad was awarded a day off on Thursday, but Mario reported for training anyway and completed another extra workout along with a handful of team-mates. To round off the session, he spent a lengthy period practising free kicks, and was the last man off the training ground and back into the changing room.

“Obviously, I’m not back to 100 percent yet. But it’s only a matter of time,” the 21-year-old later informed Since injuring an ankle seven weeks ago in the UEFA Super Cup meeting with Chelsea, Götze has taken a step-by-step approach towards a comeback. In Bayern’s last two matches, away to Manchester City and Leverkusen, he came on as a late substitute. He then played the whole of the second half in Germany’s 5–3 victory away to Sweden last Tuesday, scoring a well-taken goal and providing the assist for another strike.

“It was important to me after such a long time away,” he declared after visibly enjoying his run out in Stockholm. “I’ve not been able to play regularly for the last five months, so it’s just been good to get back out onto the pitch.” Mario is now looking to move on from here. “I need playing time, and I need matches. I think I’ll get both these things over the next few weeks. The rest will just follow automatically.”

Poor luck with injuries

Götze has been forced to show remarkable patience since the announcement of his switch to FCB. He arrived at his new club in the summer carrying an old muscular injury, but no sooner had he regained fitness, he sustained the ankle damage in Prague. “So I started yet another sports rehab programme from scratch, and it wasn’t easy. But I think the whole experience will make me stronger mentally.”

All Götze wants to do now is play. He is hoping for playing time when Bayern entertain Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday. “The coach decides how many minutes I get,” he acknowledged. One thing is certain: Mario has put his injury misery behind him. “I’m upbeat, I’m focused on the positives, and I’m looking forward to the future - hopefully with no more injuries.”