His mental strength is unrivalled.
You can’t underestimate the impact that a lengthy spell on the sidelines can have on a footballer.
So what sort of damage could numerous setbacks have on a player’s ability and confidence?
Marco Reus is one man who is all too familiar with the cushioned base of the treatment table.
The German’s talents are unquestioned. His speed, silky dribbling and eye-for-goal make him one of Europe’s most lethal talents.
However the 29-year-old has had a career plagued by injuries, and all of his woes have manifested to make him one of football’s most frustrating cases.
Reus has managed 30 Bundesliga appearances in just two seasons for his current club Borussia Dortmund.
With the exception of those two ever-present campaigns, the German has been an embodiment of unfulfilled potential.
Numerous setbacks through muscular problems have been compounded by two lengthy spells out during his time at Dortmund.
A serious groin injury sustained in 2016 put him on the treatment table for over 170 days.
No sooner had he recovered from that before he was struck down by a cruciate ligament rupture that ruled him out of action for just shy of a year.
For other players, two back-to-back injuries of such severity could well have been the final nails in their footballing coffin.
However Reus keeps proving to be football’s comeback kid.
At the start of the season he was named the new club captain of Dortmund.
The move was a huge show of faith in the 29-year-old by incoming manager Lucien Favre.
Awarding Reus the armband of his boyhood club has since proved to be an inspired decision.
The German has started this campaign as impressively as he ended the last.
Seven goals and as many assists in 11 appearances in all competitions this season highlights mental strength that few else could match.
The winger was recently named the Bundesliga’s Player of the Month for September after firing Dortmund to the top of the table.
We shouldn’t really be surprised by Reus’ comeback credentials. He’s shown in the past that excelling after injuries is very much his ‘party-trick.’
The 29-year-old overcame his ligament rupture to finish last season with seven goals in 11 Bundesliga games.
Whenever he returns from an enforced absence it’s as though he never went away in the first place.
Reus boasts an impressive record of 103 goals and 66 assists in 215 outings for the Black-and-Yellows.
His loyalty to his boyhood club should be admired.
As Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels were swayed by the riches of league rivals Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan poached by Man City, Reus remained faithful.
Dortmund stuck by him through his injury woes and he’s returned their trust with goals.
His injuries became such a problem that the winger once declared he would trade all his money for good health, a statement he staunchly stands by.
“To be honest, it was meant completely sincerely”, he told ESPN.
“When you pick up a serious injury as a footballer – and I mean long term injuries where you are out for six, seven, eight months or more – then that’s simply the case.”
It’s telling that every interview with the Dortmund star almost exclusive revolve around whether he’s fit or not.
Talents like Reus are truly few-and-far between.
And those who possess the mental resources to overcome repeated setbacks and still produce world-class performances are even more rare.
Injuries will sadly define his legacy when his ability could have placed him among the game’s best.
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