Borussia Dortmund receive boost as trio return to training ahead of Schalke clash

Borussia Dortmund trio Manuel Akanji, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz are back in training ahead of this weekend’s Bundesliga clash against local rivals Schalke 04.

Manuel Akanji tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Switzerland earlier this month. He had to undergo a 14-day quarantine and missed Borussia Dortmund’s last two games as a result. But after returning a negative test, the centre-back made his return to training on Wednesday, and he is now looking forward to making his comeback in this weekend’s Revierderby.

Akanji said on Instagram, “I’m back on the pitch with a fighting spirit as my quarantine is over after testing negative. Thanks for all your well-wishes and support, I can’t wait to be playing again this Saturday in the Revierderby!”

The 25 year old did not show any symptoms of the disease but further tests will be done in the coming days to ensure that the virus did not cause any damage to his lungs. Akanji completed parts of the team training on Wednesday, and if his follow up tests come back normal, he can take part in the full session again from Thursday.

Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz also returned to training on Wednesday. According to Ruhr Nachrichten, the duo completed the entire training session without any restrictions, and are in line to return to the squad for the game against Schalke.

Akanji started Borussia Dortmund’s first five games of the season, but missed the games against Hoffenheim and Lazio as he was still in quarantine. His absence was seriously felt on Tuesday evening as defensive errors cost Der BVB heavily during their 3-1 defeat to Lazio in the UEFA Champions League group stage opener.

Borussia Dortmund face rivals Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, before taking on Zenit Saint Petersburg on matchday two of the Champions League group stage just four days later. With fixtures coming thick and fast, Lucien Favre will be hoping to have the majority of his players available to him.