Ilkay Gundogan could return to action in September after undergoing successful back surgery, Borussia Dortmund announced on Wednesday.
Gundogan, 23, began the season with a lot expected of him after impressive performances in the previous campaign. But injuries limited the holding midfielder to just one Bundesliga game.
A September return date was pencilled in for the former Nurnberg player after he injured his back in August. However, this was pushed back to Dortmund's winter training camp in January which Gundogan left early, and eventually he missed the remainder of the season.
But with speculation about his future increasing due to the length of his lay-off, Dortmund have now announced they expect him to return soon after the beginning of the new season after undergoing lumbar spine surgery at a Munich hospital.
"Ilkay Gundogan has made an important step to a full recovery," Borussia Dortmund said in a press statement.
"The Germany international should return to the pitch in three months' time.
"Earlier this week, Gundogan successfully and without complications underwent a minimally invasive surgery on lumbar spine.
"The doctors in charge like to think that the rehabilitation phase will last three months. There should be nothing in the way of a return to the pitch after that".
In an interview with local paper Ruhr Nachrichten, BVB press officer Sascha Fligge said: "The club appreciates it very much that he underwent surgery. We are delighted that we will see him back on the pitch in September."