What is your worst injury

"The worst injury you can get as a backcourt player"

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Max Sander
August 2017

Nothing annoys a professional athlete more than sitting in the stands due to injury while colleagues go about their jobs. Malte Schröder can do more than just “sing a song”. After surviving the cruciate ligament rupture, the ex-Melsunger switched to second division TV Emsdetten with high expectations, and after only a few games he spoke more to doctors and physiotherapists than to coaches and teammates. But the end of his suffering seems to be in sight.

Hello Malte, the 2. Bundesliga started the season last weekend, while you are still forced to watch due to injury. How does that feel?
Malte Schröder: “It's annoying - especially after a long history of injuries like the one I've experienced in the past two years. At the start of the season you are always a little tense as a player and you are happy that things are finally going again. It's just a shame to miss the first games of the new season now. The positive thing is: I'm making progress, currently I see the maximum performance of my limb at 65 to 70 percent. It's difficult to predict when I'll be back on the field, with a lot of optimism my first appearance in October is possible. With this type of injury you have to act very carefully as a handball player and not rush anything. Two tendons in the shoulder's rotation cuff have torn and surgically reattached with six anchors. This is one of the worst injuries you can get as a backcourt player, because in the Bundesliga our throws on goal require maximum effort. And that is not yet possible with me at the moment. I know from Paul Drux, who, like me, was in Klaus Eder's rehabilitation center in Donaustaufen and has already struggled with an identical injury: After the operation, it takes eight months to be able to play again. The pain in my shoulder had been plaguing me since last fall. The examinations by various doctors and the MRI were inconclusive, so I was first advised to treat my shoulder conservatively with a syringe cure and acupuncture. But the measures did not help, so that in the end an operation was inevitable. Unfortunately, this was delayed by another eight weeks, as a recognized specialist in shoulder surgery was only able to offer me an appointment at the end of February. With subsequent rehab and an individual training plan, I am now reasonably pain-free and look confidently to the continuation of my athletic career. "

How is it for you, after your move in the summer of 2016, that you haven't really arrived at TVE from a sporting point of view?
Malte Schröder: “You don't choose injuries. I know that my commitment had high expectations of myself that I have not yet been able to meet. In retrospect, I would have better not played a few games in the first half of last season in which I felt pain in my shoulder and could not call up my full performance potential. Shoulder problems are the daily bread of a handball player. But when I got a hard blow on my throwing shoulder in the game against Ferndorf, nothing worked afterwards. After my cruciate ligament tear in Melsungen, the second serious injury in two years - that makes you as an athlete look thoughtfully in all directions. Will it ever be again? What are the alternatives? Personally, I didn't want to blame myself for not having tried everything to get fit again. Because at 30 I am still of a good handball age and still have a lot of fun with my sport. "

The current 2nd Bundesliga is generally considered to be the strongest of all time. What do you trust TVE to do in the new season?
Malte Schröder: “A single-digit place in the table like last season would be good and, realistically, is what our team can achieve in this unpredictable league. The 2nd Bundesliga is like a real surprise bag, surprises are the order of the day. On a good day, we can certainly bring down a favorite like Balingen. Whether we will face the relegation battle like last year depends to a large extent on whether we are largely spared the bad luck with injuries. We have three to four key players and if they get injured we could get into problems. Just like last season, when Andre Kropp was out for a long time in the first half of the season. "

Konstantin Madert said to me in an interview: “For clubs with little financial leeway it is becoming more and more difficult to attack at the top. Although here in Emsdetten I already see opportunities for a renewed promotion to the 1st Bundesliga in the medium term. If I look alone at the economic potential with many successfully operating medium-sized companies, more should be possible in this city in terms of top handball. “How do you see that?
Malte Schröder: “I share 'Konstis' assessment of the economic potential of the city of Emsdetten. It is often difficult for a club to find sponsors. For me as an athlete, it is a pity to see that in handball - in contrast to football - a lot can be done with relatively little financial means and still it is difficult to convince the economy to get involved. In order to spark enthusiasm among sponsors, you need good communication - and of course this also depends on sporting success. For TVE, the one year in the 1st Bundesliga was not crowned with success in sporting or economic terms, and it left behind 'scorched earth'. For me, the development of the SC DHfK Leipzig over the past few years is a good example of how a good concept can move forward step by step. "

Speaking of Leipzig - especially in the 1st Bundesliga, the trend can be observed that professional handball is increasingly being drawn to the big cities. Associations like Melsungen, Bittenfeld or Erlangen, which went to Kassel, Stuttgart and Nuremberg, respectively, are symbolic of this development. In an interview you once said: “For this, the environment - larger sponsor pool, larger hall, etc. - has to be created in order to be able to attack upstairs.” The TVE has made successful guest appearances in Münster in the past, you live there. Is there anything possible for you with regard to this line of thinking at TVE in the future?
Malte Schröder: “Difficult to assess. Before an association can take such a step, a lot of development work has to be done beforehand. A healthy economic and sporting foundation is a basic requirement for this. As an association from a small town, you are of course selling a bit of your soul and the pride of the people who identify with this association. But if a club wants to penetrate certain spheres, it has to go this way. For me, a good example of this is TV Bittenfeld, which initially only had one guest appearance per season in Stuttgart when they relocated their Baden-Württemberg derbies to the Porsche Arena. Personally, of course, I think it would be good to play in Münster once in a while. With its 300,000 inhabitants and economic power, something is definitely possible there. But for me, considerations in this regard are 'dreams of the future'. "

In addition to handball, you have been focusing more and more on your job perspective since last year. How's it going?
Malte Schröder: “Throughout my entire athletic career, I have always thought and acted in parallel. When I was in Lemgo, I successfully completed a commercial apprenticeship, then, when I was in the first division in Lübbecke and Hamm, I studied business administration at the Münster University of Applied Sciences and did my bachelor's degree. I am currently building on this with a master’s degree in real estate management and facility management at the same university of applied sciences. At the moment I am doing an internship in this area. "

Malte, thank you very much for the interview. I wish you a comeback as soon as possible and a successful season.

Photos: Dieter Dorn - Max Sander