For Maximilian Philipp, his last birthday present was the best: two days after turning 24, the midfielder made a return to both the Borussia Dortmund team and the Bundesliga. He had been out of action for exactly three months after sustaining a serious injury to his kneecap.

"I was absolutely delighted. It was the greatest present to finally be able to play again – and to do so without pain," said Maximilian Philipp following the 1-1 draw in Leipzig. "I overcame the injury more quickly than I anticipated. Of course, I still need to catch up a bit. But I'm happy to be back with the team," he added.

Philipp – who, despite the lengthy injury lay-off, remains the club's top scorer with six goals following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the winter break – also had the cold to contend with in Leipzig. "The first sprints weren't so easy for me," he admitted.

"A 1-1 draw is okay, but based on the first half I thought we were better"

Of the match and the result, he said: "A point in Leipzig is no bad thing. But there was more in it for us. We set the tone, moved the ball about well and were twice unlucky to score goals in offside positions. All in all, a 1-1 draw is okay but based on the first half I thought we were better."

The game shows that Borussia Dortmund are making progress. And they now have Maximilian Philipp back. He wants to "take it game by game. Then we'll see."

More game time will be coming his way soon. (br)