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Sports

Hoffenheim midfielder Vukcevic badly hurt in car crash

Boris Vukcevic has been in a head-on collision with a heavy goods vehicle and is seriously hurt. His club, Hoffenheim, said the midfielder underwent an operation; he is in an induced coma and a critical condition.

Hoffenheim released a brief statement on its website confirming that Croatian-born German youth international Boris Vukcevic was involved in a serious car accident early on Friday afternoon.

According to the club, his car "collided for as yet unknown reasons almost head-on with a heavy goods vehicle."

The mass-circulation newspaper Bild carried images of Vukcevic's car with heavy damage to the front and a deployed airbag, citing witnesses as saying he was cut out of the car by emergency services.

"The 22-year-old sustained life-threatening head injuries in the impact and was flown to a clinic in Heidelberg by air ambulance," Hoffenheim wrote on its website. "Vukcevic underwent an emergency operation and is currently in an induced coma. His condition is critical and the prognosis is currently unclear."

The accident took place on the medium-sized B45 road in south-western Germany which runs through the Sinnsheim site of Hoffenheim's stadium in south-western Germany. The truck driver also sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital.

"This news has shocked us. The team, the coach, everyone here is shocked. Our thoughts are with Boris and his family," club manager Andreas Müller said on Hoffenheim's website.

Vukcevic was born in Osijek, eastern Croatia, but rose through the youth ranks in Germany. He holds dual citizenship and has played five games for the German Under 21 outfit. He played 88 minutes in Hoffenheim's 3-0 win in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

msh/pfd (dpa, SID)