Though things in the 1. FC Köln central defense have been running just fine with newcomers Frederik Sørensen and Dominique Heintz, the return of one of last season’s regulars will be warmly welcomed by coach Peter Stöger if only to start to regain some depth in that area.
Dominic Maroh, who made 26 starts in his 31 appearances last year, has emerged from individual training to begin working with teammates on Tuesday. Other than casting doubt on Maroh’s availability for the match day 4 trip to Eintracht Frankfurt, Stöger was not yet ready to predict when we should expect to see the Slovenian national back in action.
“He is gradually getting there, but Frankfurt is probably a bit too soon,” offered the coach after Tuesday’s training session.
Of course, for a unit short on depth, Maroh cannot return soon enough. Could the following weekend’s derby with Borussia Mönchengladbach be the first match of the season for which Stöger has a third central defender available for his team selection?
Maroh injured his right thigh in early July. Early reports had the veteran defender missing the DFB Cup match against SV Meppen for certain, but more information on a time frame for a return was not made available, casting the team for the season start into question.
With Kevin Wimmer already gone to England, this summer’s injury to Dominique Maroh meant Stöger would launch the 2015-16 campaign without the services of either of his mainstays from the prior season. Mergim Mavraj, the only other returning central defender on the roster, had already injured his knee to remove the possibility of Stöger having even a familiar face in the middle of his back row.
Now, with Sørensen and Heintz having shown they are capable of handing the job, Maroh may have to follow his battle with injury with another fight; this one to regain his starter’s role.