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Oct 17, 2012

Schalke's Draxler could return for derby

Schalke's Julian Draxler has returned to training four days before the derby against Borussia Dortmund and only two weeks after suffering a fracture to his wrist.

Draxler, 19, suffered the injury during Schalke's 2-2 Champions League draw at home to Montpellier, and initial reports suggested that he could have been sidelined for four weeks.

He told Schalke's official website: "My training scheme will be increased bit by bit now," and said he was wearing a specially-designed splint to protect the injury.

Schalke coach Huub Stevens said he had not decided whether to include Draxler in the squad for the derby, stressing: "We will not rush and won't take any risks."

Eyes will also be on Frankfurt-born US international Jermaine Jones, 30. The match will be the first time he has faced Dortmund's Marco Reus since deliberately stamping on his foot during a cup match in 2011 - an offence that saw him suspended for six games.

Speaking to Bild, he said he had put the incident behind him and said he believed the same went for Reus, adding: "He will try and show the best for his team, as I will give the best for my team."

He told Schalke's website he was convinced the team could rise to the occasion, adding: "We know that the derby is always something special, but you shouldn't get too obsessed about it.

"We have got a good and young team, and must only concentrate on our game. I am convinced we can meet the challenge of Dortmund.

"Once they get going, they are extremely dangerous. You have to respect that. Dortmund will be pushed on by their fans. We need to be wide awake and not make any mistakes.

"But we have got a fantastic attack. The team has shown that more than one or two players can score."

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