After missing nearly two complete seasons with two anterior cruciate ligament injuries, United States attacker Terrence Boyd has started from scratch in what he says will be a crucial year.
The 25-year-old joined former second-tier club RB Leipzig from Rapid Vienna in the summer of 2014, but knee injuries have limited him to just seven appearances and two goals in two seasons.
This summer, the German-born forward began preparations early for Leipzig's first year in the Bundesliga top flight. He has been training with the club's under-13 team for the past three weeks.
Now with just one week before the first team start their preseason, Boyd has joined the under-23 team to continue working on his fitness.
"So to say it is a do-or-die year for me," Boyd told kicker.
As he enters the final 12 months of his current deal, he said he hopes to break into the starting formation despite the club now playing one tier higher.
"Of course, I trust myself to do it. I joined Leipzig two years ago with the goal of playing Bundesliga," Boyd said.
The training sessions with the club's youngsters have boosted his confidence that the knee will stand the test of playing with the first team.
"My knee showed no negative reaction," Boyd said. "If it stays that way, I'd like to think that I will take part in the first training session of the professional team."