Schalke's Julian Draxler has revealed his mental "suffering" during his recent injury lay-off after returning in Friday's 0-0 draw with Mainz.
Draxler has been absent since December with an ankle problem and came off the bench for 25 minutes on Friday as Jens Keller looks to ease the winger back into first-team football.
The 20-year-old was unable to help his side to a fifth successive Bundesliga victory as Schalke were forced to settle for a point, but Draxler was just pleased to make his return, while taking time to praise their stubborn opponents.
"It was important for me to soak up the atmosphere after such a long time of suffering," he said.
"I was still lacking in fitness and match practice.
"I think Mainz put in a great performance. They are a very uncomfortable opponent, and we saw that for long stretches of the game.
"They did not allow us many scoring opportunities. That's why we can live with the draw."