Dutch winger Arjen Robben arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday in a bid to keep his hopes alive of playing in the FIFA World Cup™ for the Oranje as struggles to recover from a hamstring injury.
The 26-year-old suffered a small tear in his left hamstring in last weekend's pre- FIFA World Cup friendly win over Hungary in Amsterdam and stayed back in the Netherlands to receive intensive treatment while the team flew to the South Africa.
The Dutch begin their FIFA World Cup campaign against Denmark at Johannesburg's Soccer City on Monday, but Holland's head coach Bert van Marwijk has already said he will not select Robben, as it is still too soon after the injury. The Bayern Munich star arrived here on Saturday morning and was taken straight to the Dutch base.
Robben had been receiving daily treatment in the Netherlands under veteran physiotherapist Dick van Toorn to help him recover from the injury in the back of the left thigh. Van Toorn has insisted Robben will be ready to play on Monday, but with plenty of talent in his squad, van Marwijk says he does not want to risk Robben re-injuring himself.
"We must avoid a relapse, as I have said in the last few days, Arjen has played virtually no football or trained in the last three weeks," said the coach.
After the Denmark game, the Netherlands face Japan on 19 June and Cameroon on 24 June in Group E.