Ghana target Gideon Jung will take a significant step towards returning to action when he resumes full first team training on Saturday after a long injury layoff.
The Hamburg man suffered a major setback in July when he damaged his cartilage during pre-season.
Although he began special training in November, he has had to wait until Saturday to start full training with the first team of the Bundesliga 2 fold.
"It was always my plan to introduce him to the team during the winter preparations in order to keep him stable on a good level during the second half of the season," Hamburg coach Hannes Wolf told Kicker.
Jung's injury was a big blow to Hamburg, who had just convinced the centre-back to commit his long-term future to the club despite their relegation from the Bundesliga at the end of last season.
For the 2017-18 campaign, the defender made 30 league appearances involving 29 starts for the Red Shorts.
"Gideon was expected to be a regular figure and a leading player before the season," Hamburg director of sports Ralf Becker said.
"We are really looking forward to him."
Jung is expected to join Hamburg for their training camp in La Manga in Spain between January 12 and 19.
Born to Ghanaian parents in Dusseldorf, he remains eligible to represent Ghana at senior level, having played for his country of birth at youth level.
Last year, the utility man revealed being contacted by the Ghana Football Association over a possible switch of international allegiance.