The midfielder has staked his claim for a starting place at the Imtech Arena following his recovery from injury, which saw him miss the start of the 2012-13 campaign
The 23-year-old had endured a spell on the sidelines following his recovery from groin surgery, and insists he is prepared physically and mentally to reclaim his spot in the Bundesliga champions' line-up.
"I am not happy to be behind," the twice-capped Germany international told reporters. "My replacements are playing well, but I'm confident I'll soon be able to put myself in my coach's [Jurgen Klopp] eyes again."
His coach, however, was more cautious in his remarks: "Bender is really training in a good way. However, we don't want to take any chances with him."
The likes of Sebastian Kehl and Ilkay Gundogan have deputised in the meantime.
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