Timo Hildebrand has completed his return to the Bundesliga. Timo Hildebrand joins Schalke on a contract until the end of the season. The Royal Blues announced earlier today an agreement had been reached with the former Germany international, with the move dependent on a medical which he duly passed this afternoon.
Schalke moved for the former Stuttgart, Valencia and Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper in the wake of a serious knee injury suffered by regular number one Ralf Fahrmann. That left coach Huub Stevens with only youngster Lars Unnerstall and the more experienced Mathias Schober available.
Hildebrand penned a deal until 30 June 30 2012, but is ineligible for Sunday's game at Bayer Leverkusen. General manager Horst Heldt told www.schalke04.de: "It would have been too great a risk to have only two goalkeepers, Lars Unnerstall and Mathias Schober, in the squad for an extended period.
"That's why we decided to take this step," he stated. "With Timo Hildebrand, we're getting a goalkeeper whose qualities are known. He has proved himself a very good goalkeeper age and made a key contribution to Stuttgart winning the German championship in 2007."
Hildebrand has been training with second division side Eintracht Frankfurt in recent weeks since being released by Sporting in the summer. The 32-year-old last appeared in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim last year, but they chose not to extend his contract in May 2010.
"It's just a really nice feeling to be back," Hildebrand said. "The last months were not always easy, so I'll enjoy it even more now." I was super happy [when Heldt first called me] because I've been waiting a long time ago and turned down some offers.
"For me it was important that my feeling is right. That was 100 per cent the case with Schalke from the first moment. Now I'm just happy to be able to pursue my passion again."