Zidan relieved after returning from injury
Mohamed Zidan, the Egyptian soccer marksman, made his long-awaited comeback Thursday when he came on as a second-half substitute in Dortmund’s 3-0 victory over Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv in the Europa League. He had suffered a knee ligament injury in a game between Dortmund and Hoffenheim last April that hampered his goalscoring run.
“It was a great feeling when the fans welcomed me back. Just fantastic,” Zidan was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.
Two weeks earlier, Zidan took part in Egypt’s 3-0 friendly victory over Australia at Cairo Stadium. He completed the rout in stoppage time after converting a penalty, then taking off his shirt in ecstatic celebration.
“Both comebacks ended with the same result and both times I was involved in the third goal,” the 28-year-old, who scored 14 goals last season, added.
Zidan is likely to face an uphill climb to regain his place in Dortmund’s starting lineup, given the superb form of the likes of Lucas Barrios, Shinji Kagawa and Kevin Grosskreutz.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said the former Hamburg and Mainz man might need some time to rediscover his fitness after a seven-month injury layoff.
“These 25 minutes have taken him a little further,” Klopp, who also managed Zidan at Mainz, said of the pacey striker’s comeback against Lviv.
“Playing games and training are two different things.”