Mario Gomez “didn’t think it would be this difficult” to find his fitness after his first Fiorentina start in five months.
The German international played the full 90 minutes in tonight’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Esbjerg.
“I am still lacking match fitness, as after five months without playing I’ve been training with the team for two weeks. I feel that,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“The important thing is for me to feel the right tempo when going into challenges, sprinting back or forward, as those are the things I need to improve. It’s hard work, but I want to do it.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it would be this difficult. At times I feel very tired and in pain, but that’s the process. I felt today that I am still missing a lot, but that is football and I hope I can be back to my best as soon as possible.”
Fiorentina have a triple clash with Juventus coming up next month, twice in the Europa League and once in Serie A.
“We want to face Juventus now, as we already beat them at home and over two legs anything can happen.”
The first leg is in Turin on March 13 with the Stadio Artemio Franchi hosting the decider on March 20.