Howedes ready for long-awaited Juventus debut

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Benedikt Howedes feels ready and "happier than ever" as he aims to make his long-awaited Juventus debut against Sampdoria.

The Germany international signed for the Serie A champions from Schalke in August on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent move, but he has been sidelined with injuries ever since.

The 29-year-old aggravated a thigh problem in September, from which he has taken longer to recover than the initial estimate of four weeks, although he did make the squad for the win over Benevento before the international break.

Howedes is now determined to get back into action as Juve prepare for a tough run of games against Samp, Crotone and Napoli in the league and Barcelona in the Champions League.

"I'm ready, and I feel happier than ever," said the defender, as quoted by the club's official website. "It hasn't been easy to start my adventure at a big club like Juventus with an injury, but everyone has been supportive of me these last few months and, in the meantime, I've been learning some Italian!

"But now I'm focused with getting back onto the pitch and helping my teammates, starting with the next match.

"The next game at the Marassi, against Sampdoria, will not be easy, but we are Juventus, and we want to win. We have had some great results so far, and although I know that some of the players will be disappointed with the result of the Italian national team, they are all very experienced and professional so I'm sure that they will handle it.

"After Sampdoria we face Barcelona, and we know that it will be a very difficult match but we mustn't worry. We have played in two finals in three years, so we know that we can win."