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Hoffenheim wait on injured Hildebrand

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 1 Feb 2009

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Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim may be without ex-Germany goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand for the next few games after he went off injured during their 2-0 win over Energie Cottbus on his club debut.

Hoffenheim took over from Hamburg at the top of the table on Saturday with goals by strikers Demba Ba and Boubacar Sanogo, but lost Hildebrand after 60 minutes with a pubic bone injury.

Hildebrand was making his debut having returned to Germany from Spanish side Valencia in January and this was the first time in 221 Bundesliga matches he has been forced to leave the field through injury.

Hoffenheim coach Ralph Rangnick says he will only know exactly how long his shot-stopper is out for once Hildebrand has a scan on Sunday.

“It is a very painful injury and it will depend on the pain how quickly he can next train or play,” said Rangnick.

Hildebrand was injured when he collided with Cottbus captain Timo Rost.

“First Hildebrand wanted to continue, but he noticed he had problems running,” added Rangnick.

Hildebrand won the last of his seven caps in October 2007 and has returned to Germany in an effort to win back his place in die Mannschaft’s squad.

Hoffenheim are already without 18-goal striker Vedad Ibisevic for the rest of the season after he injured his knee last month, but having won consecutive promotions in consecutive seasons, Hoffenheim are dazzling the league on their debut.

They finished 2008 top of the table and picked up where they left off by dominating Cottbus in their first game at the new Rhein-Neckar-Arena stadium.

“I am very happy with the result,” said Rangnick.

“It was important we had patience against Cottbus and we got the two goals from superiority in the air. The team deserves a big compliment for the way they played.”

With Hamburg humbling defending champions Bayern Munich 1-0 on Friday, Hertha Berlin took their chance to go second in the table.

They earned a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Olympic Stadium with two goals from striker Marko Pantelic, while Brazilian midfielder Cicero missed a first-half penalty.

Frankfurt midfielder Benjamin Koehler scored a consolation goal on 55 minutes.

Hoffenheim and Hertha’s wins on Saturday put Hamburg third while Bayern drop from second to fourth.

Schalke 04’s slump continued as they were humbled 1-0 by Hanover and VfB Stuttgart brushed off the German Football Federation (DFB) announcement coach Markus Babbel will have to stand down with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Former Germany defender Babbel took over from sacked Armin Veh last November, but without his coaching licence, the DFB insist he must stand down to get the qualification. The win left Stuttgart seventh.

Borussia Dortmund are sixth thanks to their 1-1 draw with Bayern Lerkusen, while mid-table sides Cologne and Wolfsburg shared a point each in a 1-1 draw.

On Sunday, Werder Bremen are home to Arminia Bielefeld while VfL Bochum host Karlsruhe.

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