Julian Weigl could make his Borussia Dortmund comeback after a four-month injury lay-off against Cologne on Sunday, coach Peter Bosz has revealed.
The 22-year-old broke his ankle in May after colliding with Augsburg's Philipp Max and has not played first-team football since.
His rehabilitation has gone smoothly, however, with Weigl coming through the reserve team's 3-2 win over Rodinghausen last Saturday unscathed, playing 45 minutes alongside new signing Jadon Sancho.
Bosz could now unleash the talented midfielder in the Bundesliga, though he is yet to make a decision on whether he will be involved at Signal Iduna Park
He said at Friday's pre-match media conference: "Weigl is available for selection right now, but we have to decide together what's right for him and when he can get his first minutes.
"We have a deep squad with good players and we can't be afraid to use them. We saw against Tottenham that our style didn't change [in spite of rotation]."
Bosz was unable to provide a definitive update on Mario Gotze after Jan Vertonghen's flailing arm in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League defeat to Tottenham caused damage to his mouth.
Nothing that can’t be fixed again..What really hurts was the defeat against Coming back even stronger September 14, 2017
He did confirm, however, that centre-back Marc Bartra remains absent after picking up a groin strain in the 0-0 draw with Freiburg last weekend.
"I've no idea about Gotze," the Dutchman said. "I don't know if he will be available. We'll see in training later.
"But for the moment, Bartra is still not available. He has not had enough [time]."
After disappointing results against Freiburg and Tottenham, Bosz is under no illusions that only one outcome will be satisfactory this weekend.
"Cologne have started with problems," Bosz said. "But watching yesterday's [Thursday] game [in the Europa League against Arsenal], that wasn't bad. You can see quality.
"We have to beat them at home. When you work for Dortmund you have to win, so I'm saying we have to beat Cologne on Sunday."
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