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The Toe Poke

Adler: I almost quit game

On the eve of his return to the Germany squad, goalkeeper Rene Adler has revealed he almost quit the game during his nightmare injury lay-off.

It is almost two years to the day since Adler last represented Germany in a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Gothenburg, in an experimental team which featured such hopefuls as Marko Marin, Dortmund left back Marcel Schmelzer on his debut, then-Mainz star Lewis Holtby for his first appearance and also long forgotten players like Hoffenheim's Andreas Beck.

Adler, who was then on the books of Leverkusen, had been installed as Germany's No. 1 keeper but a rib injury ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup - leading to Manuel Neuer taking over between the sticks.

And after missing the whole of the 2011-12 season through a severe patellar tendon injury his future looked uncertain, but Hamburg took a chance and offered him a deal in the summer.

On his return to the national team on Monday, Adler took some time to look back on his recent troubles.

"About half a year ago, the end of my career was pretty close," he revealed. "And I was thinking about which studies to take up."

Adler said it took time to regain his confidence after the injury had ruled him out for such a long time. "It did not come overnight," he revealed. "There were times during the rehab I fell into despair and after a few setbacks I did not believe I would ever come back.

"I have continued with my routine until I believed I could make a comeback."

Adler concedes he is not currently in a position to challenge Neuer for the jersey. "What we don't need is to open discussions on who is in goal. We don't have to put up with that," he added.

Adler knows that just making a comeback has been his biggest achievement and his patience and determination could be rewarded. "It was a dream playing in the Bundesliga again," he said. "But the national team was very far away. I would have been a megalomaniac to dream about playing for Germany again, when sitting at the doctor's," he said.


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