Robben out of Netherlands qualifiers


Arjen Robben's miserable luck with injuries continued after he was ruled out of Netherlands' two World Cup qualifiers by head coach Danny Blind.

The Dutch are due to face Belarus and France in the coming days and had hoped to have had Robben involved in some way for the Group A double-header.

The winger missed a large chunk of last season with adductor problems and has been sidelined in the current campaign with a hamstring strain.

Robben made his return to action against Cologne last weekend but it only lasted 45 minutes as he was substituted at half time, with boss Carlo Ancelotti confirming he had suffered a minor rib injury.

"I spoke to Arjen this morning, he's not coming - he's not fit and that is unfortunate," Blind said of the 32-year-old.

"We will have to do without him. That is now clear, and we know where we stand. He does just not feel fit yet. We knew it would be difficult for him.

"We hoped that we could take advantage of that extra quality he brings. Unfortunately that is not the case. We will have to do without him."

There was better news regarding Wesley Sneijder, though, with the Galatasaray midfielder confident he will be ready despite a thigh issue.

"I still need to sit down with him, but Wesley himself is optimistic," Blind added. "However, we remain careful with muscle injuries."

Netherlands opened their qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Sweden.