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Football: Schalke hope to have Huntelaar for Galatasaray

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Schalke 04 are hoping to have Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar back for Wednesday's Champions League last 16 first-leg clash at Galatasaray as he recovers from a burst eye blood vessel.

The Oranje striker has been ruled out of Saturday's Bundesliga game at Mainz 05 having also missed the Royal Blues' 4-0 thrashing at German league leaders Bayern Munich last Saturday with the eye problem, but could play in Istanbul.

"On the positive side, it is conceivable that he will be there," said Schalke's general manager Horst Heldt, with the Royal Blues having won just one of their last 10 league games and lying 10th in the Bundesliga.

With both strikers Huntelaar and Ciprian Marica (cartilage surgery) out, Heldt said Schalke are considering using teenage Germany midfielder Julian Draxler up front after Finland's Teemu Pukki failed to fire in Munich.

Schalke will also be without Japan defender Atsuto Uchida against Mainz after he returned from international duty last week with a torn thigh.

"It makes me want to be sick," admitted Heldt after Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni selected Uchida despite Schalke's concerns over his fitness.

Schalke have considerable injury concerns at the moment, with both Dutch winger Ibrahim Afellay (torn thigh) and Greece defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos (knee surgery) also missing.

ryj/as

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130214/football-schalke-hope-have-huntelaar-galatasaray