As Ilkay Gundogan prepares to make his first Germany appearance since August 2013, he has reflected on his injury woes.
Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan feels "reborn" as he prepares to return to the international stage following his injury woes.
A long-term back problem left the Borussia Dortmund man stranded on the sidelines from August 2013 until last October.
But the 24-year-old has proved his fitness since making his comeback and is hopeful of featuring when Germany take on Australia in a friendly and Georgia in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier over the course of the next week.
"What touches you the most after suffering an injury for so much time, is the fact that you really appreciate your health afterwards when you have recovered," said Gundogan.
"You appreciate that you spend a day without suffering.
"For a long time, I already felt pain when I woke up in the morning. If I compared it to now, I feel reborn, I am a whole other man.
"So these are the little things that make you enjoy your life so much more, also besides football.
"Right now, I have no problems on the pitch and I hope it will stay like this. But I also enjoy my social life so much more than before."