"I’m excited like a small child"

After several months out following a operation on his groin, Bastian Oczipka is back in training with the rest of the Schalke squad. In an interview with Schalke04.de, the 29 year old has opened up about his injury, new competition on the left wing, the Royal Blues’ start to the season and his plans for a comeback.

Bastian, we can see how satisfied you are to making your return to training.

I’m excited like a small child to finally return to training. Although not all the Schalke players are at the club at the moment due to international duty, it is still a great feeling to be able to train with the rest of the squad.

You’ve been out of action for several months due to a groin injury. How hard has this time been for you?

It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. You cannot exactly tell how long you will be out for when you suffer a groin injury. We actually thought that I would be out of action for even longer. Luckily, I’ve been able to return to fitness quicker than I expected to. I don’t suffer any pain and I feel good physically.

I don’t suffer any pain and I feel good physically.

Bastian Oczipka

You suffered the initial problem in the latter stages of last season.

I agree, it was extremely painful. I was hoping the pain would go down over the summer months but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

You had also hoped that you wouldn’t require surgery. How disappointed were you in July when you found out that surgery was necessary?

I felt very bitter about it because I done everything I could to get fit over the summer break. I even had a physiotherapist with me on holiday. In the end, it just wasn’t meant to be and this wasn’t easily for me to take mentally. Luckily, I have recovered from this period.

The start of the season hasn’t been easily for S04 either, how have you been following the matches?

I have watched each match from the stands and just like all of the other Schalke supporters, I was disappointed. However, I’m glad that we have won our last three matches in a row and we have made important steps in the right direction.

In Hamza Mendyl, the club have signed a new player in your position. How do you view this transfer?

It is a very sensible signing because I was expected to be out for a while and it became clear that the club needed a replacement in my position. Head coach Domenico Tedesco told me in advance that the club were planning to sign another left footed player and I think it is good that the coach is so open with me. Hamza is still a young player, who has already shown his potential in matches so far this season.

We have many matches ahead of us. Every player will get their chance to play.

Bastian Oczipka

You will both be competing for a place in the starting lineup.

Of course but just like every player, I hope to get some match time. It is possible that me and Hamza could always play together. We also cannot forget about Baba Rahman. In the coming weeks and months, we have many matches ahead of us. Therefore, every player will get their chance to play.

When will you be an option for Tedesco to include in the match day squad?

I am already training at a good level physically. If our schedule had been less busy over the course of the last three weeks, I might have made it back into squad training earlier. It didn’t make any sense to return earlier as the squad had a busy schedule. Instead, I completed several runs with Benjamin Stambouli and I felt more comfortable playing football again each day. Squad training is completely different to individual training sessions and I hope to return to playing action very soon.

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