Maxim Leitsch returned to training with Mainz on Thursday but trained individually as he regains his fitness after having a hiatus from the team.
Leitsch took a break from Mainz in mid October due to physical and mental exhaustion. The 24-year-old missed seven games for Mainz due to his break. Speaking a week ago about Leitsch, Mainz sporting director Martin Schmidt said: “We’ll wait and see how it develops. Of course, everyone hopes that we’ll notice before Christmas that he’s improved his values so that he can start fully on January 2.”
The defender joined Mainz in the summer from Bochum for €3.5m and played seven games for Mainz before his break. Leitsch played a key role for Bochum as they finished 13th in their first season back in the Bundesliga, and at times Leitsch formed a good partnership with now Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap.
Mainz currently find themselves 10th this season but finished the year on a four games winless run losing to Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Schalke and drawing with Eintracht Frankfurt. They begin the second half of the season on the 21st January away to VfB Stuttgart.
GGFN | Jack Meenan