More Hamburg woe: Kompany out until March

November 7, 2006

BERLIN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Hamburg SV's Belgian international defender Vincent Kompany needs an operation to correct his Achilles injury and will not play again until March.

Hamburg said in a statement that Kompany, a 20-year-old centre-back, would have the operation in Switzerland on Thursday.

'He will be out until the end of February,' Hamburg doctor Oliver Dierk said on the club's Web site.

Hamburg signed Kompany from Anderlecht in June as a replacement for fellow Belgian Daniel van Buyten, who was sold to Bayern Munich for $10 million euros.

'The injury is bitter news for Vincent,' coach Thomas Doll told reporters. 'I'm very sorry for him and I hope he'll be back soon.'

It is the latest in a series of personnel problems to hit the club in what is turning into a nightmare season.

Bastian Reinhardt, Guy Demel, Raphael Wicky, Nigel de Jong and Collin Benjamin are all on the long-term injured list, while playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has only recently returned from a long lay-off.

This week coach Thomas Doll learned he would have to do without Argentine defender Juan Pablo Sorin for a month because of a thigh muscle strain.

With 10 Bundesliga games played, Hamburg lie in 15th place, just two points off the bottom. Another defeat away to VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday could see them fall back into the relegation zone.

They have lost all four of their matches in the Champions League and now have no chance of making the last 16.