Mark, did you know immediately that you’d done some damage to yourself when you collided with Diego Benaglio in Wolfsburg?
Mark Uth: No absolutely not. I was struggling for breath but I assumed it would go away quickly. But then when I couldn’t breathe in the next passage of play, I knew I had to leave the field and unfortunately, my rib has taken longer to heal than I’d hoped.
You’ve spent a lot of time in rehab. What’s been the most annoying part?
Uth: The thing I love the most is being with my teammates on the training field and on the field at the weekend, but the rehab was ok because I was able to do ball work with the rehab coach Otmar Rösch from the start. That wasn’t the case with my muscular injury in the first-half of the season. Back then I had to spend a lot of time in the gym and that’s annoying, I’m a footballer so everything we have to do without a ball is not so great.
You bring the physiotherapist a coffee almost daily? When did this become normal?
Uth: That was in the first-half of the season when I had the muscle injury. I like to drink coffee and thought it was rude to always turn up with just one in my hand for me so I started taking a second along with me and now I always do it.
The break from the Bundesliga gives you a little more time to get back involved with the first team. Does it come at a good time for you personally?
Uth: Yes I would say so. I can participate fully in training and then at the weekend I have a couple of days rest after several successive training sessions. Next week we’ll start preparing for Berlin and I will do everything to try and get back in the squad. I feel good and I’m fit. I’m not too rusty because I’ve been doing a lot of work with the ball.
How have you judged team’s performances while you’ve been injured?
Uth: The boys have done well. We’ve won our last three home games and got two draws away. I haven’t minded watching. We’re still in fourth place so even without me I don’t mind it carrying on like this.
After the break you’re going to be busy: Hertha, Bayern and Hamburg in the space of one week…
Uth: I’m looking forward to it. They will be good, intense and exciting games. I like having mid-week games. It goes quickly, there’s a game every few days and there’s less training (laughs).
Sven Schipplock has scored seven goals for TSG as a substitute. You’re on his heels with five. Do you think you’ll catch him this season?
Uth: I hope not (laughs). I would rather play from the start, but I’ll have to work hard after a long lay-off. When I come on off the bench I want to help the team and ideally with goals.