Guerrero plans March HSV return
Hamburg’s Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero says he will overcome his
injury and fear of flying and be ready to play in the Bundesliga at
the end of March.
Guerrero told Kicker magazine’s Thursday edition that he’d
been working with two Hamburg physiotherapists and that his injured
left knee is giving him no problems. Guerrero tore ligaments in his
left knee and had surgery in September.
“We are building up the muscles in the left knee. We’ve been
working on the bike, I’d like to start running in the next few
days,” Guerrero said. “I have no pain. The knee shows no reaction,
it’s not swollen and it’s stable. … I am going to be the same
Guerrero, maybe even stronger. I am optimistic, I think I am doing
well. I will be making my comeback at the end of March.”
But Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia said he didn’t think such an
early comeback would be possible, adding that the interview “took
us all a little bit by surprise.”
“Paolo is a long way from playing, that’s a false
assessment,” Labbadia said.
Labbadia said it was “a pity” that Guerrero brought up the
subject of his fear of flying.
“We tried to take the pressure off him, but he’s brought it
back in,” the coach said.
The striker missed four flights back to Germany because of
his fear of flying. Guerrero told Kicker one of the flights
returned to Lima because he was suffering from severe stomach
problems brought on by gastritis, a result of his phobia.
“I have fear of flying but I also have fear that something
could happen with my stomach in the plane,” Guerrero told Kicker.
“First I want to be fit and then I will fly to Germany. I will fly,
no problem. I also want to get rid of this gastritis, my mother is
cooking special food for me. I am glad that Hamburg’s management
has shown so much understanding.”
Guerrero said he would be flying with the team again and that
he wanted to extend his contract with Hamburg that expires at the
end of the season.
To compensate for Guerrero’s absence, Hamburg has signed
Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who still hasn’t played in the
wake of knee and calf injuries.
Guerrero said there would be a “healthy competition” between
himself and van Nistelrooy for a place in Hamburg’s attack.