Fear of flying keeps Guerrero grounded

BERLIN - Hamburg SV striker Paolo Guerrero's fear of flying has forced him to delay his return from Peru to Germany after several failed attempts to board an aircraft, media reports said on Wednesday.

The Peru international, the club's top scorer until he tore cruciate ligaments in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in September, stepped off the plane on three occasions.

A fourth attempt early on Wednesday then failed due to visa problems, German media reported.

"Nothing has changed in the situation. He is still in Peru," a Hamburg official told Reuters.

The club even briefly considered having Guerrero return by ship but the long voyage was no real alternative.

Guerrero, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, should have been back in Germany to continue his rehabilitation a few days ago.

Once fit he will have to compete with Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy, who joined the club from Real Madrid last week, for a place in the Hamburg attack.