No PSV return for Van Nistelrooy

No PSV return for Van Nistelrooy

Published Feb. 24, 2010 2:56 p.m. ET

Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has been ruled out of an emotional return to the club where he began his career in the Europa League.

Hamburg travel to Eindhoven to face PSV at the Philips Stadion on Thursday, but the Dutch striker was left behind in northern Germany to receive treatment for a thigh strain he picked up against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

"Maybe I wanted a bit too much in previous weeks," admitted Van Nistelrooy, who made a quick recovery from injury to make his debut for Hamburg.

"It's better to take a break again now. I would have loved to be there, but we don't want to take any risks."

Ze Roberto took his time in returning from an ankle injury, on the other hand, and he is now ready to start his first Europa League game of 2010.

The Brazilian is not only confident that Hamburg can build on their 1-0 advantage from the first leg, he also has another dream in mind.

"Our big aim is not just to reach the next round, but to play in the final in our own stadium," he told the club's website.

"We picked up a good result in the first leg and travel there full of confidence."

Full-back Marcell Jansen has also been left behind after he picked up a virus while David Jarolim is suspended.

One former PSV player could be making his return on Thursday night, though. Eljero Elia is in the squad and ready to prove himself after spending much of the season sidelined with an ankle injury.

"I know what I am capable of," he told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper. "I am not putting myself under any pressure."

PSV coach Fred Rutten is not under any pressure either, although elimination from the Europa League would be the lowest point of the season so far.

The Eredivisie leaders have not lost a single game all season domestically, although their lead at the top was reduced to just a single point by Twente after a 1-1 draw with Sparta at the weekend.