Thursday 12 June 2008

Robben return adds to Oranje options

Arjen Robben has been working hard to get fit

Arjen Robben is in line for an unexpected comeback for the Netherlands against France on Friday.

Swift recovery
The Real Madrid CF winger suffered a groin injury on the eve of the opening 3-0 win against Italy in UEFA EURO 2008 Group C on Monday, and was expected to be out for at least a week. But Netherlands coach Marco van Basten declared today that the 24-year-old is available for the meeting with the FIFA World Cup runners-up in Berne, a boost in the absence of Ryan Babel, out of the tournament with an ankle injury, while striker Robin van Persie remains a doubtful starter due to a thigh problem.

"Robben came through the whole of training with the squad today and is fit for the France match," Van Basten said. "Robben was fit before the tournament, then was out for a few days, but recovered fast, and can immediately start again. It is different to the Van Persie situation, he was injured before the tournament." Dirk Kuyt started on the right of the Oranje's forward line against Italy.