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Exclusive: Bavarian Football Works interviews Dr. Lutz Mahlke of SC Paderborn ahead of DFB-Pokal clash

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We hear from the Paderborn doctor ahead of the encounter with Bayern Munich!

Marc Köppelmann

A Paderborn perspective on their upcoming match with Bayern

Bavarian Football Works had the unique opportunity to hear from one of SC Paderborn’s team doctors, Dr. Lutz Mahlke, ahead of the DFB Pokal clash between Bayern Munich and Paderborn. Dr. Mahlke has been an orthopedic and sports trauma surgeon for over 24 years and has been a team doctor for Paderborn since 2015.

Dr. Mahlke kindly answered some questions for us and gave some insight as to how everyone involved with SC Paderborn is feeling ahead of the visit from Bayern Munich.

Lutz, tell us briefly about your medical background and how you came to join Paderborn.

In 2009 I became the chief surgeon of one of the Paderborn hospitals myself, mostly dealing with sports medicine and knee surgery, like total knee arthroplasties [replacements]. Since SC Paderborn [got] into trouble falling from the Bundesliga to the lower levels, they decided to replace some of their medical staff in 2015. They called me during a China trip. My first time in action was the time Stefan Effenberg was our head coach. This was my first contact with one of Germany’s best former players, and [it was] an honor for me. In the early 2000s I had the chance to serve on some women’s tennis tournaments in my home town Hannover, where I worked e.g. with Steffi Graf and the Williams Sisters.

TENNIS: FINALE im FABER GRAND PRIX 2000
Serena Williams won the Faber Grand Prix 2000, February 20, Hanover, Germany
Photo by Elisenda Roig/Bongarts/Getty Images

Now [at Paderborn], we are 4 doctors (a general practitioner, a radiologist, an orthopedic in practice and me). One of us sits next to the field during matches, depending who is on duty. We have a pretty good distribution of medical fields. The radiologist can deliver hard-to-get MRIs the very next day. Our GP deals with all the minor problems like influenza, infections, etc. Our orthopedic friend can handle all the [everyday] muscle problems and has got the special treatment devices like magnetic resonance therapy or ACP [autologous conditioned plasma]. My job is to perform operations on some special injuries or to provide contacts to the best German specialists, whom I mostly know personally.

What was the initial reaction to drawing Bayern for the quarter-finals of DFB Pokal?

Many of my friends and most of the players are very happy with this extraordinary team. They are looking forward to a great evening. I have received lots of Whatsapp messages, all celebrating this draw. Although the head coach would have preferred every other team...

How much is everyone looking forward to hosting Bayern Munich at the Benteler arena?

SC Paderborn v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga For DFL
Robert Lewandowski put on a show the last time Bayern visited Paderborn, February 21, 2015.
Photo by Simon Hofmann/DFL via Getty Images

Three years ago it happened when Paderborn were in the Bundesliga, so we have a little experience in hosting Bayern. There is a direct flight connection from Munich to Paderborn. The Benteler Arena is a very small arena (15,000 people). The hosting will be provided only by the SC staff, a group of 6-10 employees. They will provide 600 tickets for Bayern supporters including VIPs. But I do not think it will be a much bigger deal to host them than e.g. Dortmund or Schalke. They come regularly during their preseasons.

Paderborn have had very full schedule recently. From a medical standpoint, were any additional precautions taken ahead of the Bayern clash?

SC Paderborn v FC Ingolstadt - DFB Cup
Paderborn celebrate Ben Zolinski's goal in their victory over Ingolstadt in the DFB Pokal, December 19, 2017.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

In these days we still have the winter break of the season. [The team] stopped playing before Christmas and resumed again in middle of January, so they’ve only had 3 games before the quarterfinal. The training is made to sustain 2 games a week. The team has 23 players, so they try to rotate often. We have only one injured player left [right now]. [A break from] games was good for regeneration. I do not think [fitness] is a major concern for the game vs Bayern, but more so [at] the end of the season.

The pitch at the Benteler is in rough shape. Do you think this will be an advantage for Paderborn?

Our lawn is in real bad shape due to the very wet German winter weather. It might be an excuse for any team to have problems with passing, and also for the keepers, but we do not really expect Bayern to have problems showing their excellent play. In fact, we will very much enjoy hosting them and playing against this glorious team, but we do not really expect a fourth [consecutive] wonder after beating 3 teams from the 2. Liga.

SC Paderborn v FC Ingolstadt - DFB Cup
Fun in the mud awaits Bayern Munich at the Benteler Arena!
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

On behalf of BFW, we thank Dr. Mahlke and wish Paderborn a good game!