Sancho in 'outstanding' shape despite lay-off: Dortmund's Terzic

AFP , Thursday 18 Jan 2024

Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic on Thursday said returned English winger Jadon Sancho was in "outstanding" condition despite having not played since August.

Dortmund's English forward #10 Jadon Sancho plays the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between SV Darmstadt 98 and Borussia Dortmund in Darmstadt, western Germany on January 13, 2024. Photo: AFP


Sancho was benched by Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag in August for disciplinary reasons and had not played or trained with the first team since.

The 23-year-old, who returned to the club he represented from 2017 to 2021 in January, came off the bench on Saturday to assist a goal for Marco Reus in a 3-0 away win over Darmstadt.

Speaking before Dortmund's away clash with Cologne on Saturday, Terzic said tests showed both Sancho and Ian Maatsen, who also arrived on a six-month loan from Chelsea, were in top form.

"It's true that Jadon arrived here in good condition, yet we also know how the past few weeks and months have gone for him -- and thank god he wasn't injured (against Darmstadt).

"We're happy about every training session and he's happy to be back on the pitch and he's done well this week.

"We tested him and Ian again on Tuesday to get their results and they were both outstanding -- and we're happy about that."

Terzic however refused to be drawn on whether Sancho, who scored 50 goals and laid on 64 assists in 138 matches in his first spell with Dortmund, would be in the starting lineup.

Dortmund sit in fifth place, three points behind fourth-placed RB Leipzig.

Terzic said veterans Mats Hummels and Marco Reus were doubtful for Saturday's clash against Cologne, who sit second-last having won just two matches all season.

"They are unpleasant, especially at home" Terzic said.

"We know ourselves how difficult it has been to win there recently".

Dortmund have won just two of their past eight matches away against Cologne.

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