Fin Bartels is exhausted. He’s been on the training pitch for around two hours and now he’s out of breath. “It’s good that I’m fighting my way back,” said Bartels, who’s back with his teammates and taking part in the training camp in Johannesburg.
“Of course I’ve got to adjust to the situation and the surface, because you need a bit longer when you’ve been injured,” said Bartels. He’s finally back on the pitch with his teammates after around 13 months out injured. “It’s a massive difference. You’re always close, but never really there.” Days like today, when he can complete the warm-up and some passing exercises “help, and give me the appetite for more,” added Bartels.
His rehabilitation isn’t over yet, but Bartels is taking part in the sections of team training that he can at the moment, and he’s on the way to a comeback. The achilles that he injured in the game against Borussia Dortmund in December 2017 is also holding up well. “I’m doing more bit by bit but it’s still a lot of individual training,” added the 31-year-old.
Above all, it’s important that he doesn’t suffer any further setbacks, as Bartels’ patience has been tested in recent months: “It was hard at the start, as you’ve got to mentally adjust to being out for so long, but the really hard times are because of the setbacks.” Bartels was time and again ready to enter back into team training, “and then I’d be out again for an unknown amount of time.”
“That was the hardest time”Fin Bartels on his setbacks in recent months
A few weeks here, and another few weeks there because of another issue. “That was the hardest time, because you feel like you’re back but your body can’t perform for you,” added Bartels.
In Johannesburg, it looks as though Bartels’ time on the sidelines is finally coming to an end.