Friedrich glad to be back

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WERDER BREMEN defender Manuel Friedrich is delighted to be back in training after being out of action for over four months.

The 23-year-old former Mainz star, who is regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in German football, has yet to play for Werder after damaging cruciate ligaments in his knee in the close season, but cannot wait to get the next stage of his career rolling.

"I'm incredibly happy to be able to train with the team," Friedrich told the club's official website.

"It was just great being a part of things at last. I couldn't care less about my lack of fitness or how many of my passes went astray.

"I didn't hold back going into tackles and that was the most important thing today.

"It is important to know that my injury is no longer playing any sort of mental role," he added.

Friedrich will now target the Bundesliga restart after the winter break for his first-team debut at the Weser Stadion.