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Van Basten indicates Van Persie still needs more time to recover

Van Basten indicates Van Persie still needs more time to recover

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten said winger Robin van Persie has to improve his physical fitness to face Italy in their European Championship opener and will make final decision only hours before Monday's game.
Van Persie has trained individually for two weeks to protect a tender thigh and only resumed group training when the team arrived in Switzerland earlier this week.
"He is making progress every day," Van Basten said. It would be unlikely to immediately put in the starting lineup, with a second half entry more a likelihood, he indicated. "We will only make a decision on Monday," he said.
Foreign media were excluded from Van Basten's news meeting Friday and a team spokesman did not immediately return a call.
Van Basten is not desperate for Van Persie to play since he has a wealth of talent up front. The Arsenal winger didn't play in any of the three preparation games, of which two were won and one drawn.
Van Persie has said that he would put himself in the lineup "nine out of 10 times."
With the Real Madrid trio of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Ruud van Nistelrooy and Hamburger SV midfielder Rafael van der Vaart also available, the Dutch may not take too may risks with Van Persie.
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder was said to be fully fit after a tight hamstring forced him to briefly interrupt training on Thursday.
Apart from Italy, the Dutch also face France and Romania in Group C.
World Cup champion Italy and France are facing injury worries. Italy has realign its vaunted defense after captain Fabio Cannavaro tore ligaments in his left ankle and had to be operated on Wednesday.


Updated : 2021-01-23 19:32 GMT+08:00