Here’s Yannick Gerhardt’s professional career, to date, in a nutshell: Young promising talent becomes reliable second-division presence . . . is reportedly wooed heavily by a Portuguese superpower . . . decides to reject transfer to develop career at 1. FC Köln . . . struggles to win playing time at Bundesliga level over veteran defensive midfielders . . . gets a chance in a more-offensive role than he’d played the year before and shows great promise . . . disappears!
(The video below collects some YG31 highlights from 2013-14 and sets them to awful pop music.)
Okay, he didn’t really disappear. We knew where he was the entire time, but instead of the Geißbockheim or training pitch or the bench or anywhere footbal-related, young YG31 was battling mononucleosis in exile at his parents’ house, binge-watching television series, reading, and doing whatever else one does to stave-off the boredom that comes with recovery that demands “rest” more than anything else.
The only thing I actually know about “mono” is that it was always called “the kissing disease” when referenced by adults in my childhood. Yannick celebrated his 21st birthday just a few weeks ago and seems romantically unattached. Could an athletic young man the profile that comes with being a professional athlete perhaps have put the guy in a position to be kissing someone other than his mother? Forget not that he was in the United States for a bit, too, during the winter break. Dude with an accent in sunny Florida . . . I’m just saying!
Disclaimer: Yannick was not among the several players I accosted while attending Florida Cup and training sessions.
Well, that’s hardly any of our concern or business, is it? Well, there might be similarly unattached folks who’d like to be in position to be the ones doing the kissing, I suppose, which might make them think of it as their business, but that can also remain in the area of “not-fotball-related-enough” for me.
However it was contracted (according to my in-depth research at Wikipedia, it could be contracted through a handshake or even from airborne particulate, though less likely), Yannick was too sick to train for a long while.
Now he’s not.
Gerhardt is not yet taking part in full-squad training, instead training with rehabilitation coach Marcel Abanoz ‘with the ball’ and ‘without problems’, according to the Express account of his Monday appearance at team headquarters.
With just eight matches remaining before the season’s end, Gerhardt would be happy to see more game action before summer, but is more focused on his health helping him return to his career, rather than sacrificing one for the other.
“I have set no goal for myself because I don’t know how much my body can withstand and how quickly I will again be at 100-percent,” said Gerhardt last week in an interview with Express, “but I am very optimistic and would be happy if I could just get back onto the training pitch in the coming weeks.”
“If I could play again this season, that would be terrific.”