It was a day to remember for the Green-Whites on Matchday 15, when SV Werder came away with a 2-1 away win and the three points against Dortmund who were the clear favourites, after a brilliant performance in the lion’s den that is the Signal Iduna Park. However a tackle, a pained expression and a serious injury proved how close happiness and suffering sit side by side. This is of course Fin Bartels and his Achilles tendon, which he tore in the Dortmund game. A month later, his rehabilitation is in full swing and the striker was smiling again in an interview with WERDER.TV.
A few days after the Werder win in Dortmund, Florian Kohfeldt’s side had their next game in Leverkusen. Of course Fin Bartels was not available for selection and wasn’t at the stadium but his teammates showed him that they were thinking of him. “I wasn’t watching the TV at the time. Whoever has three kids would be able to understand that. When I saw that the boys’ shirts that they were warming up in had my name on it, I just got goosebumps and I was really happy about it, it felt great,” the attacker explained with a smile.
Most Green-Whites watching the TV coverage of the Dortmund game probably had goosebumps for the opposite reasons as they saw the pained expression on the striker’s face after being substituted. “In the moment, because it all happened so quickly, the pain wasn’t actually that bad. The shock and sadness about the doctors’ diagnosis was more painful, as they told me that the tendon was probably torn,” Bartels recalls. The torn tendon was the Achilles tendon and the probably became a frustrating certainty. After a successful operation, Bartels is on his way back following the injury he picked up against Dortmund. The attacker has been working towards his comeback every day in 2018. "I'm receiving a lot of treatment and am fighting hard to regain fitness. You have to balance strengthening the muscle and letting it recuperate," said Bartels. However, talk of a specific return date is too soon. "It's a matter of small steps. Most of all, I have to be patient and not put myself under too much pressure even though I obviously want to be back out there playing as soon as possible."
However, what will be possible, is Fin supporting his teammates at the Weser-Stadion for the game against TSG Hoffenheim. "Of course I'll be there on Saturday, I might have to stop myself from celebrating too hard if we score but I want to support the team however I can." Finally, the thirty-year-old answered the most important question of all: "It doesn’t feel painful anymore, I feel okay", confirmed Bartels with a smile on his face.