The long-awaited return of Borussia Dortmund's talismanic winger Marco Reus is edging ever closer, with Dortmund boss Peter Stoger announcing he expects Reus to be fully fit for their clash with Cologne on February 2.
The German has been absent since the knee injury he sustained in the club's DFB Cup Final win against Eintracht Frankfurt in May 2017. Despite returning to first team training at the start of the new year, Reus is still yet to figure in the match day squad.
However, speaking to the Bundesliga's official website, Stoger confirmed that the winger will return to action as soon as possible, although Dortmund's upcoming fixture with Freiburg may prove too early.
The 51 year old Austrian coach declared: "I'm not sure if he'll be fit for our next game against Freiburg.
"If he's not involved in the week ahead, it'll be the week after that. He's incredibly ambitious. I won't hold him back."
The injury afflicted 28 year old retains a cult-like status at Dortmund, and has an impressive record of 92 goals and 63 assist from 222 appearances in the famous yellow jersey.
Reus was initially not expected to return to action until the middle of February, and was understandably coy about setting a potential date for his re-entry into football when speaking to the Bundesliga back in January.
Back then, he admitted: "I haven't set myself a date by which I want to be back. It's hard to say, given the kind of injury it was, because there are still several steps I still need to take.
"But I'm positive and I think that in the next few weeks things will progress. Then we'll just have to wait and see."
It seems, for Dortmund's fans and indeed Reus himself, that the wait is almost over, and attentions will now turn to how he will perform, rather than when.
Indeed, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang increasingly looking set to swap the yellow of Dortmund for the red of Arsenal, fans will be hoping Reus can hit the ground running against Cologne, should that turn out to be the occasion of his highly anticipated return.