Berlin: Hamburg's Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has said he does not expect to play in the Bundesliga again this year after suffering a suspected hamstring tear.
The 29-year-old was left clutching his right leg after 30 minutes of Hamburg's 2-0 league defeat at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday night and expects to miss at least his team's next four remaining games before the winter break.
"It feels like a tear," the ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid midfielder told German magazine Kicker with Hamburg set to face Schalke, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Leverkusen in the coming weeks before Christmas.
"It's not an injury with which you can play again after a few weeks.
"It will be difficult to play again this year. The injury hurts more than the defeat."
Hamburg are ninth in the league, while Duesseldorf, 13th, earned their first home win this season since their promotion -- their first home victory in the Bundesliga for 15 years.