Dutch World Cup hopes received a boost Sunday when coach Bert Van Marwijk revealed that Arjen Robben will be included in the 23-man squad the Netherlands sends to the tournament which kicks off in South Africa next week.
The mercurial winger's status had been in serious doubt over the weekend after he suffered a hamstring injury in the Netherland's 6-1 demolition of Hungary on Saturday. Coming on as a second half sub, Robben scored twice before falling awkwardly in the 85th minute after attempting a backheel pass.
Robben received no sideline treatment and was immediately helped off the field at the Amsterdam ArenA by Dirk Kuyt. Initial reports were not encouraging, indicating the winger had felt sharp pains.
Uncertainty and despair gripped many members of the Netherlands camp with Van Marwijk going as far as to say, "I would rather lose this match and have Arjen stay fit."
However on Sunday Van Marwijk indicated that the Bayern Munich winger's injury was not as bad as had been initially feared and that he would indeed join the rest of the team in South Africa. Speaking to Dutch state broadcaster NOS, the coach said he, "decided not to summon any substitute for Arjen. I want to give him every chance to still participate in the World Cup."
How soon Robben will be ready to play is as of yet unknown. The Dutch are scheduled to play their first match against Denmark on June 14th, followed by match-ups against Japan on the 19th and Cameroon on the 24th.
Robben's participation in the World Cup is felt by many to be integral to the Netherland's chances of success in the tournament.