Borussia Dortmund have said Mario Gotze is close to returning to training following the “metabolic disturbances” that have kept him on the sidelines since late February.
Gotze, 25, could return to team training when Dortmund begin their preseason preparations under new head coach Peter Bosz on July 7.
A picture published by German tabloid Bild on Thursday morning showed Gotze during a running session while on holiday in Florida. The Germany international, who had appeared unfit while struggling with the illness, looked in better shape during the workout.
“We are delighted that the therapy worked out that well,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in Bild. “We are looking forward to welcoming him back to the pitch soon.”
Gotze returned to Dortmund in 2016 after three largely disappointing years at Bayern Munich, but he featured in only 11 league games under Thomas Tuchel before his illness was revealed in late February.
Dortmund have also received a boost on Raphael Guerreiro, who sustained an injury in Portugal’s 1-0 Confederatons Cup win over Russia.
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos told reporters on Wednesday that he feared the player had fractured his ankle, but Dortmund said in a statement on Thursday: “Good fortune despite misfortune for Raphael Guerreiro: we had been informed by the Portuguese national team that the BVB player suffered painful bruising to his foot during the Confederations Cup match against Russia.”
Guerreiro had earlier written on Instagram: “Thanks to everybody for your messages. I can confirm I had a fracture, but that dates back over three months and I don’t have any pain there. Fortunately there is no fracture in the place where I now feel pain, but I still cannot put pressure on my foot, nor can I move it at the moment.
“While I wait, I will be getting behind my teammates for the rest of the competition.”
Meanwhile, Dortmund defender Matthias Ginter has told Die Zeit that he considered retiring from football altogether following the attack on the BVB team bus ahead of the Champions League match against Monaco in April.
The 23-year-old was also part of the Germany squad playing at the Stade de France during the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015.
“A few weeks after the attack on our team bus I was taking a stroll with my girlfriend in Dusseldorf when a lorry slowly passed us,” Ginter said.
“And for a moment the mental cinema started. Lorries were used to kill people in the past. I even considered retiring from football because we will not be steeled for attacks in the future, but I want to and I will continue.”
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.