Vukcevic in critical state after car crash
Hoffenheim star Boris Vukcevic remains in a critical but stable condition, a press release from Heidelberg hospital has confirmed.
Vukcevic, 22, was involved in a car crash last Friday, losing control of his vehicle and hitting a truck coming in the opposite direction. While the truck driver escaped with minor injuries, Vukcevic was rushed to hospital, where he was operated on twice over the weekend and put into an induced coma.
"After two operations on his head and brain he remains in a critical but stable condition," the hospital statement said. "At this stage a prognosis is not possible and will most likely not be possible for the next two weeks. Vukcevic is in a coma. The attending physicians are doing all they can to prevent the brain from further damages."
Hoffenheim opted to play their Bundesliga match against Augsburg on Saturday after Vukcevic's family had urged them to do so. Club patron Dietmar Hopp told SportBild the decision to play the match was "not courageous but severe".
The decision was taken by the team and "it was the parents that encouraged them in this decision", he explained. "Sporting issues were completely put in the background, this was common sense with the Hoffenheim officials. It was solely about what Boris would think was right." Bundesliga stars went to great lengths in their support of Vukcevic, with players from every team sending get well soon messages through social networks and some players dedicating their goals to the player.
The Augsburg team warmed up on Saturday wearing "Get well soon, Boris!" shirts and Hoffenheim skipper Marvin Compper justified their decision to play, saying: "I would not have liked the idea of going home and feeling sad alone. It is easier to try to digest the situation together." He added it was easiest coping with it "doing what ties us to Boris and what we all love the most".
Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel added: "To a certain extent we must think about keeping going. Our psychologist has some work do to now." Director of football Andreas Muller spoke of the "most difficult situation the team was ever in".
Following the goalless draw, Hoffenheim players were given two days off, with Muller saying: "The players should be with their families now to try and clear their heads."
The team will be back on the training pitch this Tuesday, but club psychologist Jan Mayer was available for the players at the training ground.
Only Vukcevic's family has been granted access to visit him in hospital but his parents released a press statement late on Sunday offering thanks for "the unparalleled sympathy and support", which "helped us believe in Boris' recovery".
Hoffenheim travel to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this weekend.