Roque Jnr fit again after luckless 2006

January 11, 2007

BERLIN, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Brazilian defender Roque Junior has finally recovered from the injury problems that kept him out for most of 2006, Bayer Leverkusen said on Thursday.

The 30-year-old, a World Cup winner in 2002, only managed two league appearances last year because of an Achilles injury.

Bayer announced he had been passed fit to return to the first team for a friendly match against Cisco Roma on Thursday.

'It's like having a new signing,' coach Michael Skibbe told the Bayer website. 'His confidence on the ball, creativity and strength in the tackle are remarkably good.'

Roque Junior picked up his Achilles problem in December, 2005. He returned for two of the last three Bundesliga games in the 2005-06 season but was not included in Brazil's squad for the World Cup in Germany.

He has yet to play this season but could be ready when the Bundesliga resumes at the end of January after the long mid-season break.

'I have no more pain,' he said on Thursday. 'I'm feeling good and I want to help the team again.'