DAVID SMITH - Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Aron Jóhannsson's return to action continues to hit delays, after club team Werder Bremen announced he is expected to miss their summer preparations for the 2016/17 season.
Jóhannsson last took the field for competitive action in late-September of last year, before being forced to miss the rest of the season - another tough one for the Green-Whites - due to a persistent issue with his hip.
His return was consistently pushed back from a few weeks through the end of the spring until eventually it looked like the upcoming season would mark his triumphant return, however Bremen's sporting director Frank Baumann confirmed that the timetable was once again delayed.
"It's very difficult to give a prognosis," Baumann told the media on Tuesday, elaborating "we cannot count him in for the pre-season preparations, even if it means he will miss the start of the season."
The non-acute nature of the problem - a persistent irritation of the nerve in his hip - isa big part of the reason that a firm timeframe has been elusive.
"It's difficult to give a prognosis since there is no tear or break involved," Baumann explained.
The Alabama born Jóhannsson joined Werder last summer after a highly successful stint at AZ Alkmaar, and looked to be cementing his place in the team's plans before the problem derailed his season.
He had scored two goals in his first six league games, and was a starter for the team during his final five appearances.
Bremen went on to stave off relegation by the skin of their teeth, needing a last-second win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the season's final game to avoid being forced into the relegation playoff.
The team ended up relying on the scoring prowess of Nigerian international Anthony Ujah and veteran Claudio Pizarro, with the two combining for a total of 25 goals during the season.