Germany: Bundesliga
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By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Hinteregger pain free, fit, and hopeful for return this weekend

Following his second day back on the training pitch, Eintracht Frankfurt defensive linchpin Martin Hinteregger declared himself pain-free and ready for Gladbach on Saturday. 
Few would have expected the Bundesliga's commercial capital side to thrive in the absence of Martin Hinteregger. The 28-year-old Austrian captains the team's defensive corps; to the point that club ultras honor him with a special group known as the "Hinti Army".

Despite the fact that Hinteregger hasn't appeared on the pitch since the round 24 encounter with Stuttgart, Adi Hütter have still gone four games unbeaten. The stalwart's absence has been largely mitigated by excellent play from replacement pivot defender Stefan Ilsanker.

Back on the training pitch after sitting out a month with a fascia injury in his thigh, Hinteregger nevertheless declared himself fit and ready for this weekend's immensely important clash with fellow 2021/22 European club football aspirants Borussia Mönchengladbach.

"I haven't had any pain for over a week," the defender reported in an interview on Wednesday, "If it continues like this, I'll certainly be an option."

Even assuming that head-coach Hütter remains focused on guaranteeing Champions' League football for his current club and not scouting his next one, however, there may no need to take such a risk.

Ilsanker, Evan N'dicka, and Lucas Silva "Tuta" Melo have functioned reasonably well as a three-man-unit over the last four rounds. Hütter also needs to take the "Englischer Woche" into account. The SGE face Augsburg next Tuesday on a tight turnaround.

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