Marco Reus, before last weekend, had not played a competitive soccer match since May. It had been nine months since he’d seen a Bundesliga pitch. Nine months since he tore a knee ligament in the DFB Pokal final, the latest in a long line of injuries for a player once seemingly destined for Mesut Ozil-esque success.
Reus, instead, has never played in a World Cup. He’s never moved to a so-called superclub, health knocking him back every time his career picked up momentum.
So perhaps it’s unwise, or at least premature, to suggest that Sunday could be a turning point; that it could be the start of Reus’ last run at a World Cup roster; that it could be the return of early-20s Marco Reus, one of the best playmakers in Europe.
But millions of people are dreaming that it will be. Reus, in his second league game of the season, and third overall since returning, scored a belter of a goal to propel Borussia Dortmund up into second place in the Bundesliga for the first time since early November.
Marco Reus is back in the scoring column for Dortmund!
This beautiful strike gives BVB the 1-0 lead on Gladbach. https://t.co/psXPaAnzhH
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 18, 2018
Just as Reus has had a rocky career, Dortmund has had a rocky season. As it crashed out of the Champions League without a win, it also endured two-and-a-half winless months in the Bundesliga. It slumped all the way to eighth place after a strong start. It sacked Peter Bosz less than a half-season into his reign.
But BVB has rebounded under Peter Stoger. In fact, it hasn’t lost a league match under the new boss, and has shot up the table in a historically mediocre Bundesliga.
Reus, now 28, will hope Sunday can be the catalyst for a similar recovery. The attacking midfielder starred for Dortmund in 2012-13 and 2013-14, and was in line to feature regularly for Germany at the 2014 World Cup. But an injury in a pre-tournament friendly dashed his dreams.
He was back to his best two years, having scored 23 goals in all competitions for Dortmund. This time it was a groin injury that did him in, and forced him out of Joachim Low’s Euro 2016 squad.
He’s been hampered by ailments both major and minor since. The torn ACL last year almost felt like the final blow. But now Reus has his eyes on Russia. He has a foothold in the Dortmund team, and a platform to prove himself. If the soccer gods have any empathy, they’ll have Reus healthy and back in top form come June.
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