Jonathan Burkardt played his last Bundesliga match for Mainz 05 362 days ago. After two operations, things are finally looking up. However, he will have to make do with a place in the stands for FSV’s visit to Burkardt’s youth club Darmstadt 98.’
Jonathan Burkardt is a regular guest at Böllenfalltor, the 23-year-old Darmstadt native grew up not far from the stadium and started his career with the “Lilies”. He then moved to Mainz at the age of 14. He came through all the junior teams at the DFB and became European champion with the German U21 team in 2021. In 2021/22, he was the FSV team’s internal top scorer with eleven Bundesliga goals.
Since November 13, 2022, however, things have been quiet around the striker. He was substituted with an injury in the 1:1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. There was initially talk of a knee sprain, but he then underwent meniscus surgery in December. After the complaints in his left knee increased again in February, the intensity of training was reduced. On May 23, Mainz 05 announced that Burkardt had undergone another operation due to bone marrow edema. At the time, the club expected him to be out for another four months.
Instead of September, Burkardt only returned to team training in November, but only took part in a small number of sessions and largely avoided tackles. “I was really pleased to see Jonny back on the pitch. We introduced him to the team again, as he had been out for a really long time. He really enjoyed it and immediately transferred energy,” reports coach Jan Siewert. Siewert does not want to reveal what the comeback plan looks like, which is understandable as he is only listed as “coach until further notice”, as the FSV announcement states.
“For me, it’s all about Darmstadt. I can’t say what happens after that. At the moment, ‘Jonny’ is training well and getting on well. We’re observing how his body is behaving day by day. When you see how happy he is to be back on the pitch, then I’m positive that things will continue like this in the coming weeks,” emphasizes Siewert. Burkardt will still only have a place in the stands for FSV’s visit to Darmstadt on Saturday. Realistically, he will probably not be able to return until after the winter break at the earliest. His contract in Mainz expires in the summer of 2024