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Cherundolo in fitness battle

US international Steve Cherundolo will miss his club's pre-season training after injuring his ankle in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, but his Hannover manager Mirko Slomka is hopeful the right-back will return for the start of the new season.

"It's very bad news because it will upset our preparations," he said. "But I'm convinced that Steven will very quickly become a major element of our team again."

Cherundolo twisted his ankle in the 11th minute of the Gold Cup final on Saturday and had to watch on as his team-mates went down 4-2 to Mexico in the decider. The 32-year-old captained Hannover to a fourth-placed finish in the Bundesliga last season and is expected to be out for at least four weeks with his current injury.

Slomka's men will play against Anker Wismar in the first round of the German Cup on July 30, while their Bundesliga campaign kicks off on August 6 at home to Hoffenheim, leaving Cherundolo in a race to be fit.

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