Jermaine Jones is making progress in his recovery from leg surgery, a recover that has turned into an eight-month ordeal, but the U.S. national team-eligible midfieler still hasn't set a timetable on his return.
In his first extensive interview in months, Jones told Der Westen that he has begun ball training work in his rehabilitation, though he is still not training with the first team.
"It's better than it was four weeks, (when) there was nothing," Jones said. "Now I'm trying to increase the burden of day to day."
Jones stated that he isn't putting a timetable on a return, stating that he is intent on not having any more incidents where he returns prematurely. That has already happened on multiple occasions, with Jones being forced to sidelines after experience pain in his surgically-repaired leg after returning too soon at least twice.
Jones also downplayed the reports of feuds with Schalke management, including Schalke manager Felix Magath.
"We just had different opinions about where to continue my rehab," said Jones, who is currently training with Fortuna Dusseldorf physical therapist Bernd Restle.
Despite the time on the sidelines, Jones is still confident of regaining his starting role with Schalke. He attented the team's recent win vs. Cologne and believes he can regain his roe once he is ready to return.
"If I'm fit, I'm not afraid for my place." Jones said. "(Felix Magath knows) what he has in me and I know exactly what I have in him."
The news doesn't sound good for Jones' chances of playing a part in the U.S. national team's World Cup plans. He won't be playing a part in the U.S. team's upcoming friendly against the Netherlands, meaning U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley won't have a chance to bring Jones in before he picks his World Cup roster in May. Now, if Jones returns to action for Schalke and shows dominant form, Bradley could still have a tough decision to make about whether to include him, but given the uncertainty over when Jones' will return, that seems highly unlikely at this point.
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