Draxler thrilled to be back in contention

Julian Draxler is delighted to be nearing his return to the Schalke side after more than five months out with a torn hamstring.

Schalke star Julian Draxler is approaching full fitness after spending much of the season sidelined with a torn hamstring.

The Germany international sustained the problem against Augsburg at the end of October, and was forced to undergo surgery.

With Schalke set to host Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Draxler has been training fully with the squad and is nearing a return.

"I have now trained two or three times at the same level and have no pain," he told Kicker.

"That's the most important thing and I'm just happy that everything has healed well.

"I'm trying to show myself in training now so that the coach sees me as an option.

"The five months has been gnawing at me. At first it was quite nice to watch the games from a different perspective but ultimately it was not easy to keep my feet still.

"There's nothing like standing on the grass."