By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The 23-year-old was once regarded as one of the next big things in German football and played a key role in the BVB team that won the Bundesliga in the 2010/11 season, after filling the void left by injured skipper Sebastian Kehl.
However, it was Bender's turn to be sidelined by injury last term after a groin problem restricted him to just 24 appearances in the league and in his absence, Ilkay Gundogan stepped up to establish himself in his first season at the Signal Iduna Park.
Still, the Germany international is refusing to bet overly disappointed by the state he currently finds himself in, and is determined to win back his place in coach Jurgen Klopp's starting lineup.
"I am not happy to be behind," he said.
"My replacements are playing well, but I'm confident I'll soon be able to put myself in my coach's eyes again."
Klopp however preferred to be cautious and stressed he would not be rushing Bender back until he is fully fit.
"Bender is really training in a good way," he said. "However, we don't want to take any chances with him."
Bender's twin brother, Lars, is currently playing at Bayer Leverkusen and was part of the Germany side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 in the summer.