Bundesliga News

Faint hope for Köln:
Sebastian Andersson returns to training

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Three points removed from the relegation playoff place, the relegation race is far from over for Germany's cathedral city carnival club.

There nevertheless remains some hope that the player who was supposed to help the club avoid its second relegation in three years might yet be able to help out soon. 
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FC Union Berlin certainly wouldn't have been able to stay in the Bundesliga last year were it not for Swedish striker Sebastian Andersson's 12 goals. The 29-year-old was meant to assist 1. FC Köln in the very same manner this year.

Regrettably, a knee fracture has kept him sidelined for most of the season. In ten appearances for his new club, Andersson appeared slow and ineffective through the initial twelve rounds of the campaign. He managed just two goals for die Geißböcke; one of which was a converted penalty.

Without a lead striker, Köln traversed an exceptionally painful stretch of the season in December and January during which the team went six league fixtures without scoring a goal. The attacking assistance procured during the January transfer window has failed to generate many more tallies, forcing coach Markus Gisdol to again run an attack with midfielder Ondrej Duda alone up top.

All eyes were on Andersson on Wednesday as he finally participated in portions of full team training. Andersson training with his colleagues for most of the afternoon, skipping the final minutes and avoiding any exercises involving direct duels. Interestingly, the Swede seemed further ahead in training integration than other injured teammates Florian Kainz, Ismail Jakobs, and Sebastian Bornauw.

Though Andersson's presence constituted a pleasant surprise, it should not be taken to mean that a return is imminent. Given the severity of the striker's injury, a full two weeks of fully integrated training would likely serve as the true litmus test for his return. It is thus highly unlikely that Andersson will be on hand to face his former club Union this weekend or even Borussia Dortmund the week after that.

An April return, however, may remain possible.

The 14th paced Domstädter will take all the help that they can get.

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