November 24, 2012 / 10:18 AM / 5 years ago

Thigh injury expected to sideline Hamburg's Van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart plays with a ball during a training session at the National Arena in Bucharest October 15, 2012.Radu Sigheti/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - Hamburg SV playmaker Rafael van der Vaart could be out for some time after sustaining a muscle injury in their 2-0 defeat by Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday, the player said.

The Dutch international, who returned to Hamburg this season after spells at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, was taken off clutching his thigh in the 33rd minute of the loss.

"I instantly had the feeling that it was a torn muscle," he told his club's website (www.hsv.de). "The injury hurts more than the defeat at the moment."

Team doctors said they also suspected a muscle tear and that more tests would be conducted.

Van der Vaart's form has lifted Hamburg upto ninth place this season as they eye a Europa League spot.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann. Editing by Patrick Johnston

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