Robben targets weekend World Cup departure; coach cautious


Johannesburg : Arjen Robben reportedly plans to fly to the World Cup over the weekend but Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk remained cautious Tuesday on when his star winger will be fit to play.

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Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported that Robben aims to fly out to South Africa on Saturday and to take a place on the substitute’s bench for the team’s tournament opener against Denmark Monday.

The Bayern Munich winger Robben, 26, suffered a hamstring injury in a tune-up match against Hungary on Saturday. He has been undergoing physiotherapy with Dutch specialist Dick van Toorn since Monday, hoping to be fit as soon as possible.

De Telegraaf said that treatment was going according to plan while van Marwijk said he hoped Robben would get a better picture over healing process later in the day.

“Arjen will get a clearer picture about the nature of the injury tonight by Dick van Toorn, but I don’t expect Arjen to be told that he can play on Monday,” van Marwijk was quoted as telling a news conference at the team’s South African base camp.

“Of course I am curious what van Toorn will have to say. Dick said that you can say more after two days of treatment. Things are going well but there will be more clarity tonight.”

Van Marwijk said he won’t rush Robben back on the pitch despite his sparkling form in the past season. The Dutch play their other group E games against Japan June 19 and against Cameroon June 24.

“It is more important for me that he (Robben) can play again later in the tournament,” van Marwijk said.