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Preparation, 8. January 2019

Didavi: "We're on the right track"

After a first half of the season he described as "not satisfactory for myself or the team," VfB Stuttgart's Daniel Didavi has spoken at the club's La Manga training camp about his return to full training.

Didavi returned to his boyhood club in July 2018, but a persistent Achilles tendon injury has limited the attacking midfielder to just eight competitive appearances since. That period of frustration appears to be drawing to a close, however, with the 28-year-old participating in full training at VfB's winter training camp in the Spanish resort of La Manga for the last five days.

While admitting that the Achilles problem had proved stubborn, Didavi, who continues to increase his workload in order to regain his strength, also said that he had not allowed it to knock him down.

"It's getting better and I can participate in everything," Didavi said between training sessions on Tuesday. "I'm still lacking a bit of sharpness, but here at the training camp we have a bit more time for good recovery training.

"I'm in regular contact with the medical team – the doctors and physios ask me several times a day how I'm getting on. There are still one or two moments when they need to slow me down a little bit."

Although able to train without painkillers, Didavi still feels the Achilles tendon. "It's about finding a healthy mix between strain and control to make sure the pain doesn't break out again," he said.

The first half of the season "didn't go as we expected as a team," said Didavi, who admitted the same sentiment held true for him personally: "Of course, I want to play and it's frustrating that I wasn't able to help the team."

Even so, the Nürtingen native and his team-mates are staying calm, with the hard work in La Manga providing cause for optimism. "We're on the right track and definitely have the quality to pick up more points in the second half of the season," Didavi said.