While reports and video last week showed Giovanni Reyna’s welcomed return to training for Dortmund, head coach Marco Rose clarified the situation, warning that the American phenom is still several weeks away from a return to the field.
Rose spoke to the media in a press conference on Monday afternoon, in anticipation of their final Champions League game against Besiktas. With the game effectively dead-rubber for the Black & Yellow – any result will land them in the Europa League knockout round – there is much speculation about whether the Dortmund coach would use the game to blood youngsters or give minutes to players such as Reyna just returning from injury.
While Rose spoke well of Reyna’s progress, he all but explicitly squashed any hopes that he would be in uniform on Wednesday against the Turkish visitors, and his statements indicated that a return on the weekend would also be unlikely.
“Gio is basically on a good way,” Rose told reporters.
Commenting on the well-publicized videos and photos showing Reyna on the training field, being applauded by his teammates, Rose clarified over a visible chuckle, “Last week he made a passing exercise in the first training, and after that he was also out. But we have been able to increase it little by little.”
The first-year Dortmund coach was, however, careful to temper any expectations that this progress means the 19 year-old is ready to take the field in the upcoming few days, either against Besiktas on Wednesday or Bochum four days later.
“Still, he’s not in game shape yet,” Rose warned. “There is a little bit missing, but the direction is right. Gio is hardworking, [his recovery] seems stable. We will need a few more weeks but it looks good.”
Including Wednesday’s game, Dortmund have four games left before the Bundesliga goes on winter break. This means that Reyna’s last chances to take the field in 2021 might come on December 15 against dead-last Fürth, or three days later on a trip to the nation’s capital to take on Hertha.
Otherwise, the team will have a short break for the holidays, followed by a brief training camp to work off the Christmas calories, and return to Bundesliga action on January 8 at Frankfurt.