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Gundogan returns from exile

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Ilkay Gundogan is set to put 14 months of injury agony behind him this Saturday when he joins his Borussia Dortmund team-mates on their short trip to Cologne.

A troublesome back injury not only saw the Germany international miss practically all of last season, it also ruled him out of the World Cup.

After following different methods of treatment, it appears he has now finally found the solution and, after returning to full training during the international break, he is set to make his return at the Mungersdorferstadion

"I expect to be part of the squad at the weekend," he told Germany's Sky Sport. "I'm ready and available."

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has yet to reveal whether or not Gundogan will feature, but he has welcomed his return to training, together with Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"They are back and now it's all about getting them far enough to be able to play our kind of football again," Klopp said at a press conference.

"Things are looking really good and I'm optimistic."

Dortmund are only one point ahead of their hosts going into Saturday's game - an unexpected scenario with seven rounds of matches already played.

Cologne coach Peter Stoger nevertheless says there is a gulf between the two sides far greater than that solitary point.

"They have played fantastically in the Champions League and the team are far better than they look in the Bundesliga table," he said on his club's website.

"Jurgen Klopp has developed a good team in recent years and he has signed players who fit in with his style of play.

"But on a good day, we're certainly going to have more chance against them than we had against Bayern Munich. We've just got to be more active ourselves."

Stoger has a full squad to choose from, apart from the long-term absentee Patrick Helmes.

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