Leverkusen sweating on Bender fitness

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender is fighting to be fit for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Real Sociedad.

The Bundesliga side will take on Real Sociedad in their second group game of the competition, having lost 4-2 to Premier League champions Manchester United in their opener.

But as they prepare to fight for the essential points in a tough group that also includes Shakhtar Donetsk, they may have to do so without star midfielder Bender.

The 24-year-old picked up a knock on his ankle in Saturday's 2-0 win over Hannover, but boss Sami Hyypia is hopeful that he may recover in time.

"We will wait until tomorrow's warm-up (in the morning) to see if Lars is good to play," he said.

"Today he did not train with the team but did an individual session. We have to see how his injury reacts to know where we stand.

"Now we have a home game which we have to win if we are to have any chance of advancing."

The former Finland international sees his men come into the fixture in good form, having won their last five home matches in all competitions.


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