Schalke skipper Howedes returns to training

Schalke 04 captain Benedikt Hoewedes has returned to training after a partial ligament tear in Germany's friendly win over Netherlands this month, the Bundesliga club said on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Germany international, who has not played since his injury on November 15, completed an individual training session on Tuesday.

The rugged defender, who was ruled out for about four weeks at the time, is not expected to be included in the squad for Thursday's Europa League Group J game against Steaua Bucharest.

Schalke lead the group on eight points from four matches.