It did not make for pleasant viewing on 13 May 2017 – a Saturday afternoon – when the cameras panned to Julian Weigl as he tumbled over following a challenge in Augsburg and landed with his foot twisted underneath his body. A broken ankle was the diagnosis.
The Germany international, who has just turned 22, made his comeback from the bench as the Black & Yellows strolled to a 5-0 victory over 1. FC Cologne last Sunday, before returning to the starting XI in yesterday's 6-1 win against Gladbach. Weigl performed as if he'd never been away: the midfielder won 75 percent of his challenges and recorded a pass completion rate of 93 percent, with 98 of the 105 passes he made on his comeback reaching a team-mate!
He rounded it off with a spectacular strike at the end, controlling the ball on his thigh following an attempted clearance from former team-mate Jonas Hofmann, before touching it down and firing it brilliantly into the top corner! The goal, which came from his 17th shot in 62 Bundesliga appearances, was the 22-year-old's first-ever at national level, although he had previously scored once before – also from distance – in a UEFA Champions League match in Lisbon in October 2016.
"It was an indescribable feeling to run towards the South Stand after my goal," said Weigl as he described his emotions upon scoring. "I always wanted to score in front of the South Stand and I'm ecstatic. I took the ball down in such a way that the only real option was to volley it."
Those emotions serve as a small compensation for his efforts in rehab during the four months he was out. (br)