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Netherlands sweat on De Ligt injury

Netherlands sweat on De Ligt injury

The Netherlands were dealt a potential injury blow after defender Matthijs de Ligt limped out of training on Saturday with a groin complaint just eight days before their opening match of Euro 2020.

Coach Frank de Boer said they will have to wait and see as to the severity of the issue, but the loss of the central defender would be a serious blow for a side already missing long-term injury casualty Virgil van Dijk.

“He already had some problems with his groin yesterday (Friday), so he didn’t want to take any chances. We have to wait and see,” De Boer told reporters ahead of a final warm-up fixture against Georgia on Sunday.

De Boer also again defended his decision to leave number one goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen out of his squad due to a COVID-19 infection, a move that was criticised by the player in local media.

“I support my decision,” De Boer said, adding he was not upset by Cillessen’s outburst. “It’s an emotional reaction. Understandable,” he said.

“You have to make choices. We’re going to play a tournament. Everyone has to be 100% fit. He probably still needs another one or two weeks (to be fully fit).”

The Netherlands, 1988 champions, open their Euro campaign against Ukraine in Amsterdam on June 13, and also have home matches against Austria and North Macedonia.

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