Injured Van der Vaart pulls out of Dutch squad

August 28, 2006

AMSTERDAM, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Netherlands injured midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has pulled out of the squad for their first two Euro 2008 qualifying matches away to Luxembourg on Saturday and at home to Belarus four days later.

The Dutch FA (KNVB) said on Monday that the Hamburg playmaker is sidelined with a thigh injury sustained during their Bundesliga match with Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten will not replace Van der Vaart and will therefore start his preparations on Tuesday for their Group G campaign with a 21-man squad.