Schneider back after long absence

Veteran German international Bernd Schneider resumed training with his Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday after being out for eight months with a back injury.  The 35-year-old, capped 81 times by his country and a part of the side that reached the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ final, said that he was keen to return to his previous form despite not having played since April 24 last year.

"It was really nice to be back in training," said Schneider, who is still keen to be part of the squad for the 2010 finals in South Africa. "The most important thing for me is to now rediscover my best physical condition," added Schneider, who underwent an operation on a herniated disc at the end of April.

Leverkusen have not wilted despite his absence and are fifth in the title race, which resumes on 30 January after their winter break.