35-year-old suffers from ruptured muscle in her left calf and will not recover in time
Injured Melbeck to miss EHF EURO
Germany will go into the EHF EURO 2012 without one of their most experienced players. 35-year-old Steffi Melbeck, who plays club handball for Buxtehuder SV, has suffered from a muscle rupture in her left calf and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
"I want to recover completely before playing again and currently I am planning to return to the court on 28 December," said Melbeck who has played 223 times for Germany already.
"Playing the EHF EURO without any preparation would put too much strain on the muscle, and that's neither good for the team nor for me.
"That's what my mind tells me, even though my heart thinks differently."
Head coach Ole Jensen says that the team will cope with Melbeck's absence.
"It is a bitter blow for Steffi and for our team, but we will have to deal with it."
However, Jensen has to deal with even further injury worries. Melbecks teammate from Buxtehuder SV, Isabell Klein, has only just recovered from a cruciate ligament rupture and playmaker Anna Loerper has been suffering from an inflamed tendon in her foot for several weeks.
"That's the situation we face, but it is also the chance for our young players. With our long-term goals in 2016 (the Olympic Games) and 2017 (the World Championship on home soil) in mind, they now have the possibilty to prove themselves on the top level," Jensen said.
Ahead of the EHF EURO in Serbia (4 to 16 December) Germany will meet Romania in two test matches on 24 and 25 November.
TEXT: DHB / ts