13.01.2021Bayer 04

Birthday boy Arias ‘on track’ in rehab

The 1-1 draw in Stuttgart on 3 October was his first and only appearance to date for Bayer 04: Santiago Arias joined the Werkself in the summer on loan from Atlético Madrid and was due to play at right-back. However, the Colombian broke his leg in an international fixture against Venezuela shortly after his debut Black and Reds. Now Arias is in rehab instead of on the pitch in the Bundesliga. On the occasion of his 29th birthday, spoke to the 53-time international about his progress in training, the return to Leverkusen and his hopes for the next twelve months.

Santiago, first of all, congratulations on your birthday. You broke your leg just over three months ago. How are you today?
Thank you. Yes, the three months without football have felt very long for me. I suffered an injury that nobody would wish on anybody else. But things like that happen in football. The important thing is to take positives from any situation. I’ve had a lot of support – from my family, people from Colombia and the management at Leverkusen and Atlético Madrid. The really helps me on way back.

You flew to Madrid a few days after the injury for your operation. How is the healing process going and what training can you do at the moment?
Both the operation and the first part of rehab have gone well. I’m very happy with my recovery so far. We are on track. I’m now at the point where I can put my whole weight on the injured leg. I definitely feel much better and can hardly wait to get back on the pitch and be able to play the sport I love so much.

When will you return to Leverkusen?
I hope to be back in Leverkusen soon. At the moment, I have to wait to have two screws removed. That could happen at the weekend. Then I will have to rest for a week before I can travel to Leverkusen to rejoin the team.

What’s life like for you in the Spanish capital?
It was and is difficult for me not being able to train or play with my team. But I’m happy to spend so much time with my family – my children and my wife. I’ve been able to appreciate a lot of sporting and personal things much more.

How do follow the Werkself games and what’s your impression of the team?
I’ve seen them all, mostly on television, and the ones I couldn’t watch live I’ve watched later online. You get the impression that all the good work the team’s done is paying off now. In spite of players leaving and the injuries, the team has managed to remain solid and always set out to win games. The course of the season so far has shown that we can achieve big targets this season.

How are you spending your birthday and what are your hopes for the next twelve months?
I’m spending the day with my family. We’re eating cake and enjoy the time together. In terms of hopes: Primarily, I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced up to now. And I hope my family and me remain well. That we all stay healthy, value each other and are happy. For my club, I hope we have the chance to win a title this year.

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