After 13 days off the Borussia Dortmund first team squad started their preparations for the second half of the season on Tuesday morning for what looks likely to be up to 29 games between the 21.January and the 3.June.

The training programme consisted of athletics and weight training, and in addition there was the obligatory lactate test. Sokratis, Neven Subotic, Sebastian Rode, Raphael Guerreiro and Nuri Sahin were missing. They had all been out through injury before the short winter break and underwent individual training today. Mario Götze was ill and was not present at all.

The players jogged on the running track in the Helmut-Körnig-Halle at five to six different stress levels (10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 kmph) for the lactate test and after every round the medical staff would take a blood sample from their ear lobe. The players really had to give everything for the final highest stress level. The players also had to give blood samples while resting and when they were regenerating.

The medical staff will now examine the blood tests and measure the build up of lactate. If there is a high build up of lactate this is an indication that there is not enough energy for the muscle when put under too much stress. This means that there can be an acidosis through the lactate and in the worst case scenario the muscle would stop functioning. The coaching staff will have the results within the next one or two days. The performance capability of every individual player can be determined based on this system and the fitness training can be adjusted individually.

The Borussia Dortmund team will have their training camp in Marbella (Spain) from the 5. to the 13.January. They will play friendly matches against Standard Liege and PSV Eindhoven while they are there. (br)

All fixtures at a glance