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Leverkusen 16:30 Schalke

Pinto sorry for Ballack

Leverkusen ace facing fresh spell on the sidelines

Last Updated: 15/09/10 7:27pm

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Pinto: Hits back

Pinto: Hits back

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Hannover 96 midfielder Sergio Pinto has expressed his regret that Michael Ballack was injured when the pair clashed at the weekend.

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Ballack was playing just his third match following a lengthy lay-off that ruled him out of this summer's World Cup finals when he suffered his latest setback.

The Bayer Leverkusen man is facing a six-week absence on the sidelines after clashing with Pinto, an incident that Bayer head coach Rudi Voller took exception to.

Voller felt Pinto's challenge was over-zealous, however, Pinto has hit back at the claims stating he never intended to hurt the veteran midfielder.

"I'm definitely sorry to see Michael Ballack out injured and that he will be unavailable for several weeks from now," Pinto told BILD.

"If you look at pictures you'll see it was not my intention to hurt him. Our paths cross and he hits my calf with his knee.

"When I said it is all the same to me I meant it was definitely no issue for me to see the player involved there being Michael (Ballack).

"Rudi Voller should be kind of happy his club got away with a draw in the end!"

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