Socceroo winger Robbie Kruse has returned to training with Bayer Leverkusen nearly six months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during training.
He was able to complete the warm-up routine and parts of the passing and game drills during his first competitive session since January.
The injury ruled the 25-year-old out of Australia's World Cup campaign in Brazil but his club are confident he is close to returning to full training ahead of the start of the Bundesliga season next month.
“We have organised a reduced training programme for him but he is well on the way to returning to full training soon,” assistant coach Daniel Niedzkowski was quoted as saying on Bayer Leverkusen's website.
“I’m very very pleased for him. It’s something really special to be able to train with the rest of the squad.”
One of the Socceroos' most consistent performers in recent years and a fan favourite at Leverkusen, Kruse's return is a welcome sight ahead of January's Asian Cup.
The Socceroos' impressive showing in Brazil augers well for a successful Asian Cup campaign and a fit and firing Kruse will be an integral part of Ange Postecoglou's rejuvenated squad.