Bundesliga: Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart fears hamstring tear

Rafael van der Vaart: Fears it will be 'difficult' for him to play again in 2012 due to hamstring injury

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Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart does not expect to play again in 2012 after suffering a suspected hamstring tear.

The Dutchman had to be substituted off in the first half of Friday's defeat by Fortuna Duesseldorf as a result of the problem.

And former Tottenham Hotspur man Van der Vaart now looks set to miss future games with Schalke, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen in the weeks before Christmas.

"It feels like a tear," he told Kicker. "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."