by Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- For over a decade Marco Reus has been on a troubled journey between on-pitch action and recovery measures due to injuries.
Statistics speak of 131 games and 1135 days missed by the Dortmund striker, mounting up to over three years of absence.
While the 33-year-old's story stands as one of football's most tragic medical reports, the 48 times capped player developed resilience and a get-up-and-return mentality.
Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, setbacks seem to continue.
Full of optimism, German football's Mr. Injury has started his next delicate race to make it in time as his ups and downs seem to repeat inexorably.
National coach Hansi Flick made clear that he will be waiting for one of the country's best performers until the last day possible.
A well-oiled performance at the end of the previous season and a perfect start into the 2022-2023 campaign made Flick count on Reus.
The Qatar tournament now seems his last chance to attend a World Cup, after missing majors such as the 2010 and 2014 World Cup aside from the 2016 Euro -- all due to an injury shortly before kick-off.
Ahead of the 2021 Euro Reus pulled out to give his maltreated body recovery time to prepare for the 2022 World Cup season.
Bad memories might have played a significant role.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia stands for a dark chapter of Germany's national team and Reus as the team suffered from an early group exit.
Predictions for a return this time seem as hard to make as always. Germany's 2019 footballer of the year will be out for three to four weeks as Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl put it.
An ankle injury makes Reus miss important preparation games such as the Nation League encounters against Hungary this Friday and England next Monday evening.
Following first treatment in a Dortmund hospital, Reus announced to never give up despite his 49th injury break.
The Black and Yellow fans seemed shocked after their team captain had to be stretchered off the pitch after 32 minutes in the derby against local rival Schalke (1-0).
Having gathered with his coaching staff to overview the league games on television German coach Flick might have been caught by similar feelings.
Flick might over think Reus' nomination after his predecessor Joachim Loew appointed a not-fully-fit striker for 2018 followed by the sportive disaster Reus wasn't responsible for.
Other than making his return to Germany's shirt after over a year, Reus now stands hopes to be back only four weeks ahead of the 2022 World Cup, when things go well.
Fans and Flick now hope pictures of the 2014 Brazil tournament are not repeated as the striker's mishap triggered heartfelt sympathy among teammates. Mario Goetze showed Reus' shirt after scoring the winning goal in the final against Argentina.
Reports speak of Reus witnessing the scene with tears in his eyes sitting on his living room sofa back in Germany.