VfB Stuttgart's Socceroo keeper close to return

Socceroo goalkeeper Mitch Langerak is back training with VfB Stuttgart and looking to return to the field after the German Bundesliga resumes following the winter break in January.

The 27-year-old shot-stopper has been working hard to overcome back-to-back injuries that have hampered his stint at Stuttgart.

The big Queenslander is combining training with on-going rehabilitation work and extra sessions to fast-track his return to the pitch.

“I've been back in team training since mid-December as well as working through my rehabilitation,” Langerak, a former Melbourne Victory keeper, told www.socceroos.com.au.  

“I’m training more at this point then I ever have because doing rehab plus team training plus my own individual treatment it is hard and definitely nowhere near as easy as [when] being fit!

Goalkeeper Mitch Langerak in a pre-season training session with VfB Stuttgart.

“It’s been a very challenging time as it is my first major injury and to have back-to-back serious injuries after joining a new club is tough for any player. 

"Injuries are something all footballers must go through and for me to suffer my first one now is something I am learning from. 

"Things are moving along well and I'm hoping to be available after the winter break or in early January.”

Socceroos' year in review

Langerak also paid tribute to his new club, which splashed out for his services after he spent five seasons with fellow Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.

“I’m really loving being at Stuttgart, a massive club with a lot of traditions,” he said. 

“The club's facilities and rehab centre are world class which gives me a great environment to progress and succeed here.

Mitch Langerak.

“I’m strongly focussed on getting fit so I can repay the club for their investment and belief in me.”

Langerak is also hoping for a return to the Socceroos squad ahead of the next two World Cup Qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan on home soil in March.

“It has been very difficult watching the Socceroos from afar but it's great to see the boys getting some wins and playing good football.

“My injury is just another chance for the boss to build more depth in the entire squad but I’m looking forward to getting back into camp once I’m back to full fitness.”