Altintop injury adds to Schalke woes

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SCHALKE'S stuttering start to the Bundesliga season will be further hampered by the loss of midfielder Hamit Altintop after he tore ligaments in his foot on Sunday.

The Turkish Under-21 international picked up the injury in the disappointing 1-1 home draw with Eintracht Frankfurt and is now likely to be out of action for around six weeks.

The news comes as a further blow to Royal Blues coach Jupp Heynckes (pictured), as he attempts to lift his team after picking up only seven points from seven Bundesliga outings this season.

"Altintop is a player who always gives his all and has been one of the few positive aspects of our season so far," the former Real Madrid coach said.

"We mustn't sit around moaning about his injury though - I'm sure we will be able to compensate for his absence," Heynckes concluded.

Altintop, who burst onto the Bundesliga scene this season after his summer move from regional league outfit Wattenscheid, joins Jorg Bohme, Niels Oude Kamphuis, Ebbe Sand, Gustavo Varela and Mike Hanke on the Schalke injury list.