Ryo Miyaichi is finally putting a run of games together in Germany, after three years of hardly being able to play one without falling injured again.

In truth, Miyaichi has struggled with injuries throughout his entire career so far. Before joining FC St. Pauli in 2015, the former Arsenal winger already had 580 days of injury absences behind him. Unfortunately, things only got worse from there though.

Soon after signing for the German club, before playing a single game, Miyaichi ruptured his cruciate ligament. He missed most of the 2015/16 season, before making a couple of brief substitute appearances in April, and a start in May in which he scored twice and assisted once.

The 2016/17 season went a lot better, with some brief absences from the team, but a total of 20 appearances over the course of the campaign. As soon as the season ended though, he ruptured his cruciate ligament again.

In 2017/18 he only played 13 minutes, and at the end of that one appearance it seemed he’d suffered yet another long-term injury. However, over the summer it turned out the problem wasn’t as bad as first thought, and now he’s back on the pitch again.

For the first time in his St. Pauli career, Miyaichi has played 90 minutes in consecutive matches, albeit for the club’s second team. Now manager Markus Kauczinski has confirmed the Japanese international is close to re-joining the first team.

“I think he’s on track, when I see him playing football,” the coach told Bild. “If he is really fit and plays one or two games more, I think he will get his chance.”

In July, after playing in a friendly match, Miyaichi told the media he’s feeling a lot better than before.

I am pleased to play again,” he said. Everything is fine, I have no pain. That was not always the case. In 2015, the left cruciate ligament tore and in 2017 the cruciate ligament in the right knee.”

Hopefully the former Gunner can stay injury free for as long as possible now, and get back to playing for the St. Pauli first team.