German club Hamburg have confirmed that former Tottenham man Rafael van der Vaart suffered torn ankle ligaments in his country's stalemate with Colombia last night. 

The Netherlands playmaker has been a mainstay in Hamburg's midfield this term, starting every game, but is set to miss a substantial amount of first-team action after picking up what their medical staff described as a 'severe' injury while on international duty. 

In a statement on their official website, the club confirmed: "Rafael van der Vaart has suffered a severe ligament injury in the right ankle.

"One of the interior ligaments in the foot is torn and he has a torn outer ligament.

"Much has been speculated about the severity of his injury, but now it is clear that the ligaments were severely affected in his right foot and he will be missing for some time."

The former Premier League star has settled back into life at Hamburg - a team he played for before his spell in north London - well, scoring 11 times in total, and six in this current Bundesliga campaign. 

However, the German outfit find themselves languishing in 14th in the league having won just three of their first 12 games, and the absence of one of their best players is unlikely to aid their fortunes. 

The club's sporting director, Oliver Kreuzer, admitted: "The loss (of Van Der Vaart) hurts already, because he has played very strong, especially in recent weeks, and otherwise is an important part of the team.

"How long he is out for depends on the healing process, but Rafael has good healing flesh."

He will definitely miss this weekend's key clash with Hannover, who sit just three places above Hamburg in 11th. 

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