Reiss Nelson returned from injury on Saturday, featuring from the bench in a Hoffenheim draw with Dusseldorf.
Nelson, on loan in Germany until the end of the season, suffered an injury over the winter break forcing him to miss recent matches against Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg. Whilst the exact details of the issue were kept pretty quiet, it clearly wasn’t anything too serious, as the 19-year-old returned to the squad this weekend.
Playing his first competitive minutes for over a month, it was no surprise to see Nelson coming off the bench rather than starting. He played 29 minutes of the Bundesliga clash with Dusseldorf, creating one chance and having one shot on target of his own, but couldn’t quite find Hoffenheim the winning goal.
Posting on Twitter after the match, Nelson admitted it wasn’t the result the team wanted, but that he was pleased to be back after his injury.
Not the result we were aiming for today, but good to be back on the pitch! 🦋 pic.twitter.com/B5IlqaqRTn
— Reiss Nelson (@ReissNelson9) February 2, 2019
Manager Julian Nagelsmann admitted he thinks all the noise from outside held Nelson back a bit in the first half of the season, but he hopes and believes that’s going to change from now until May.
“Before the winter break, he (Nelson) seemed a bit inhibited, also because of a lot of screaming from outside and a lot of focus on the defence,” Nagelsmann said (via SWR). “So we had one, two good talks with him, that he knows what’s important.
“He makes a very good impression, he has done well here, but he will do even better in the second half, which is relatively safe.”
Despite needing some help with his development in the first half of the season, Nelson did still score seven goals and assist one in his 18 appearances (five starts). Hopefully, he can keep that sort of form up until the end of the campaign and return ready to start the new season with Arsenal.