Created on 27-03-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern were dealt a severe injury blow on Wednesday when Hamit Altintop sustained a fractured metatarsal while playing for Turkey against Belarus in Minsk. The midfielder will be sidelined for six to seven weeks, after Professor Dr. Ludwig repaired the damage surgically at Bogenhausen hospital on Thursday morning.
"It's come as a shock," reacted coach Ottmar Hitzfeld ahead of Thursday training. "Hamit Altintop has been in scintillating form recently, and he was assured of a place in midfield.“ The 25-year-old's domestic season is probably over, and he may struggle to regain fitness in time for the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland this summer. "It's doubtful whether he'll play again this season," Hitzfeld confirmed.
Second injury lay-off
It is the second injury-related lay-off this term for Altintop, who switched from Schalke 04 to Munich in the close season. He underwent surgery on a torn meniscus in early December last year and sat out the last three matches before the winter break.
"It's a real blow, Hamit was in great shape and on a roll," commented defender Christian Lell. The Munich-born full-back and the Turkey international have operated together on Bayern's right flank 14 times this season. Hitzfeld will now be examining his options for the right side of midfield, although the squad boasts a number of players capable of filling the position.
Minor knocks for Jansen and Demichelis
Left-back Marcell Jansen also picked up a knock or two after some rough tackling in Germany's 4-0 demolition of the Swiss in midweek, and reported to the club medical unit for treatment on Thursday. However, the player has declared himself fit for Saturday's Bundesliga trip to Nuremberg.
That also applies to Martin Demichelis, who returned from Argentina's visit to Egypt sporting a black eye. Apart from Altintop, the only definite absentee from the Bavarian derby is Mark van Bommel, who serves a one-match ban after collecting a fifth yellow card.