Van der Vaart suffers ligament damage
Hamburg playmaker Rafael van der Vaart suffered a ligament tear in Netherlands’ friendly against Colombia on Tuesday and appears likely to miss the remainder of 2013.
Van der Vaart, 30, was the victim of a nasty tackle by Abel Aguillar and was substituted in the first half of the game in Amsterdam.
After the match, which finished 0-0, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal attempted to calm worries about Van der Vaart, saying: “Thank God, nothing is broken, nothing is torn. It’s a sprain. I think, he’ll be able to play at the weekend.”
However, on Wednesday afternoon Hamburg announced that the former Real Madrid star is facing a longer spell on the sidelines.
“It is now clear that the ligaments in his right ankle have been damaged and HSV will have to without him for a longer period,” a club statement said.
Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer added that he is praying for Van der Vaart to make a quick return, saying: “Hope dies last.”
Van der Vaart has been in good form for Hamburg in recent weeks, scored six goals and assisting six in 12 games this season.
Hamburg currently sit 14th in the Bundeliga standings, four points above the relegation zone, and this weekend face 12th-placed Hannover, who have not won in sixth games.