Taking to the Bundesliga pitch for the first time in over a month, Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric did his utmost to pick up where he left off.
He could do nothing after being substituted off as a time-killing sub at 90+1. Kramaric left the field a winner, yet had to head down the tunnel contemplating a draw.
For the Kraichgauer's most valuable player, it proved an unsatisfying return.
After over three weeks of training in isolation, Andrej Kramaric saw his return to full team training delayed even longer by a second wave of infections in Sinsheim. The 29-year-old Croat reported definitely feeling "as if he had been gone much longer" when he finally got the opportunity to play in a competitive Bundesliga fixture.
The long layoff didn't necessarily manifest itself in his play. Kramaric looked strong as the team's primary set-piece taker, directly set up Ryan Sessegnon with an assist of a goal in the 48th, and converted a penalty in 71st. His tally kept him in the race for the league's golden boot. The spry veteran has now scored seven times in only four fixtures.
"It felt like a defeat," he noted, visibly annoyed, after the game, "We have to win a game like this. It's an absolute shame that we have to concede a goal in the last second."
Kramaric's returns to a club in desperate need of bodies. It is not yet known whether the latest wave of infected players--Jacob Bruun Larsen, Robert Skov, Kevin Vogt, Munus Dabbur, Kevin Vogt, Ishak Belfodil, Sebastian Rudy, and Sargis Adamyan--will be able to travel with the team for Thursday's Europa League fixture in the Czech Republic.
An irritated Kramaric eager to make up for lost time may actually prove quite beneficial to the depleted club.