Niklas Süle has spent the last four months on the sidelines for both Bayern Munich and the German National Team after sustaining a cruciate ligament tear and torn meniscus in Bayern’s 2-2 draw against Augsburg back in October. He just resumed running for the first time last week, getting a few sessions in the books on the grass at Sabener Strasse, which was a big step forward in his recovery.
Speaking to SportBild, the 24-year-old said that he’s been taking his rehab one step at a time, especially since he already had to go through it once before when he had torn his ACL back in 2014:
I took it as it came. In terms of motivation, I’ve grown a lot. There is not a single day on which I doubted. I always had a goal before my eyes that spurred me on to get up and train hard every day: I wanted to get back on the pitch with the boys.
Just after his injury was diagnosed, Uli Hoeness asserted that Süle definitely would miss the European Championships with Germany. In his eyes, he felt that Sule should “forget about” the Euros and focus on getting fit for Bayern for the 2020/2021 season. Süle admitted that Hoeness’s remarks irritated him and that setting a goal to be fit on time for the Euros has motivated him to come back stronger:
The statement by Uli Hoeness irritated me. Immediately after my diagnosis, I calculated approximately how long it would take before I could come back. It was immediately clear to me: there is enough time to make a complete recovery before the Euros. I needed this goal, this incentive of playing for Bayern during the season and going to the Euros. That’s why the statement by Uli Hoeness also surprised me.
Süle also said that he’s already spoken on the phone with Germany manager Joachim Löw a few times about his potential involvement in Euro 2020:
I’ve spoken with Löw on the phone a few times. We were in regular contact. All the rumors about players who perhaps have to go back and such, that doesn’t interest me. My only goal is that my knee is one-hundred percent recovered.
While Süle’s motivation and determination to make Germany’s squad for the Euros remain sky high, he’s also wary of returning prematurely. It’s important to him that he’s able to get the proper amount of matches under his belt once he makes his return to ensure he’s able to gain match fitness:
It is important to me to get my games before the Euros. The goal would be to join the team in April. Then I know that it would take a while before I would adjust to game fitness. Team training doesn’t mean fit to play.
He only wants to go to the Euros if he’s in perfect health and he said he currently has “no doubts about that.”