Van der Vaart set for Hamburg return

The midfielder has handed his side a boost after making a swift recovery from a problem that looked set to keep him out of action for a lengthy period

Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart will return to training on Tuesday after being sidelined with an ankle injury since mid-November.

The 30-year-old picked up the ligament problem on international duty with the Netherlands during a goalless draw with Colombia.

Medical staff at Hamburg initially predicted Van der Vaart would be missing for a lengthy period of time, but the club have confirmed the attacking midfielder will make his comeback sooner than expected.

Die Rothosen has endured mixed fortunes in the Bundesliga in his absence, having recorded a win, a draw and a loss, prior to a daunting trip to face leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Van der Vaart has scored six goals in 12 German top-flight appearances this season.