Karlsruhe defender Marcel Franke donates stem cells
Karlsruhe defender Marcel Franke had a good excuse for missing the Matchday 12 clash with Bundesliga 2 leaders Darmstadt - he was potentially saving someone's life.
Karlsruhe lost 2-1 at home to Darmstadt without Franke, who was absent after donating stem cells to a blood cancer patient two days previously.
The club were happy to help after Franke had informed them that - having registered as a donor in 2016 - he was told three months ago that doctors might have found a match.
"The probability that I would be the right donor was actually very low," the 29-year-old told the club website. "But three weeks later I got a call to tell me I was the perfect match after all."
Watch: Highlights of Karlsruhe's loss to Darmstadt
Time was of the essence since the donation had to be made in October, and it was decided that Franke - who had started every game this season - would at least sit out the Darmstadt game.
"For us it was very clear that we would definitely help," the centre-back said. "It's a good feeling to hopefully be able to save someone's life. So of course I can miss out on the odd game for that."
The procedure only took three hours, meaning Franke was likely in good shape to watch Phillip Tietz score a late winner for Darmstadt on Saturday.
Watch: Franke scored the opener against Jahn Regensburg on Matchday 5
"Unbelievable," Tietz said after the game of Franke's decision. "You have to say it's very honourable from the player - and also from Karlsruhe to have allowed him to do it."
Franke said he hoped to return to training as soon as possible. His side are currently eighth in the second tier, and they next face Sandhausen in the DFB Cup second round on Wednesday.
Bundesliga 2 Matchday 25 highlights!
Heidenheim leapfrogged Hamburg into second, while leaders Darmstadt held firm at the top.
2022/23 DFB Cup quarter-final draw
Holders Leipzig host BVB, Bayern take on Freiburg and Frankfurt face Union in the pick of the ties...
Official Bundesliga 2 transfer centre: January 2023
Get up to speed with all the transfers in and out of Germany's second tier during the winter window...