Zack Steffen took a major step in his recovery from a lengthy knee injury.
The Fortuna Dusseldorf and U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper trained with Dusseldorf both on Wednesday and Thursday after missing close to three months. Steffen, who joined the Bundesliga club on loan from Premier League giants Manchester City back in August, has totaled 18 appearances in Germany this campaign.
He returned to the training pitch with Dusseldorf remaining in a relegation battle at the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
— Fortuna Düsseldorf (@f95) March 11, 2020
“Zack trained out on the pitch for the first time today, which was great,” Dusseldorf manager Uwe Hosler said at a press conference. “But there’s no need asking yet if he’s ready to play: he still needs some time.
“He did some work with the goalkeeping coach and some with the physio. That means he’s still got a way to go, but it’s definitely positive and he came through the session well. He didn’t have any problems afterwards, so it’s very positive.”
Steffen, who has yet to appear for Pep Guardiola’s Citizens since his move from the Columbus Crew, was reportedly linked to a promotion with Manchester City this summer. The promotion would see Steffen join City’s first team with No. 2 keeper Claudio Bravo not re-signed for the 2020-21′ season.
It is unsure if Manchester City will offer Bravo a new contract later this season, but Brazilian National Team star Ederson currently occupies the No. 1 job for the defending Premier League winners. Should Steffen return to Dusseldorf and make a strong run in helping the club remain in the first-tier, he very well could make a case to stay with Manchester City heading into next season.
Steffen’s injury has also forced him to miss USMNT duty for Gregg Berhalter’s squad. He last appeared in a 2-0 Concacaf Nations League group stage loss to Canada back in October, not being included for wins over Canada and Cuba in November.
The USMNT saw its March friendlies postponed on Thursday due to the ongoing Coronavirus issues around the world, matches Steffen would surely be included in if healthy and fit.