9 August 2014 04:34
Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic is training without pain ahead of his team’s DFL Supercup clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Subotic has not played a competitive match since he tore two ligaments in his right knee in November last year but claims he is ready to feature ahead of the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Serbian defender revealed on Friday that “it’s all looking up” as Dortmund prepare for their final friendly of the close-season against Liverpool, before facing Bayern in Dortmund for the traditional curtain-raiser of the German football calendar.
“I’m doing well. Sometimes it doesn’t respond quite as I’d like but I can train without any pain,” Subotic told Ruhr Nachrichten.
“I don’t think about it anymore and I can commit 100 per cent, which is the most important thing. So, generally, it’s all looking up.”
Subotic injured his knee in Dortmund’s 2-1 loss at Wolfsburg last season but has played in five friendlies during the close-season, indicating he is ready for competitive action.
The 25-year-old is ready to fight for a spot in central defence, arguing Mats Hummels, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matthias Ginter are ahead of him in the pecking order, as they all played the second half of last season and went to the World Cup.
“It’s going to be really difficult. This season, we’ve got four excellent centre-backs and the other three have played a lot more than me in the last year,” Subotic said.
“Two [Hummels and Ginter] won the FIFA World Cup, one [Papastathopoulos] got to the last 16, and I wasn’t even playing.
“Having said that, though, there are opportunities for everyone, and the coach will definitely give us all a fair chance. We’ll have to wait and see.”
A good sign for Subotic is that Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has started the Serbia international in their past four friendlies.