Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the German league’s top scorer, is set to return for Borussia Dortmund at Mainz on Sunday after Gabon’s early Africa Cup of Nations exit.
“He will be back with us again by Thursday so he will definitely be fit and an option for our coach,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Kicker.
Hosts Gabon crashed out of the Cup of Nations at the group stage after drawing all three pool games, but Aubameyang still managed two goals.
He is the German league’s top scorer with 16 goals in 15 league games. In his absence Dortmund won their first Bundesliga game of 2017 on Saturday with a scrappy 2-1 victory at Werder Bremen to climb fourth.
The 27-year-old Aubameyang, who has made no secret of his desire to join Real Madrid, has a Dortmund contract until 2020, but hinted last week that he may leave in the summer.
On Monday Dortmund signed a potential replacement when Swedish teenage prodigy Alexander Isak — dubbed the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic — joined for a reported 10 million euros ($10.7m).
Isak, who earlier this month became Sweden’s youngest international goalscorer at 17 years and 113 days, had also been linked to Real Madrid, but joined Dortmund from Sweden’s AIK after an apparent change of heart.
The gifted striker scored 10 goals in 24 games in his debut season at AIK in 2016.