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Meerdink facing lengthy lay-off

Published: Thursday 24 March 2005, 20.19CET
AZ Alkmaar forward Martijn Meerdink could be out for nine months after suffering a serious knee injury.
Published: Thursday 24 March 2005, 20.19CET

Meerdink facing lengthy lay-off

AZ Alkmaar forward Martijn Meerdink could be out for nine months after suffering a serious knee injury.

AZ Alkmaar forward Martijn Meerdink could be sidelined for up to nine months after tearing the cruciate ligament in his right knee in training with the Netherlands national side.

First call-up
The 28-year-old forward, who was included in Marco van Basten's squad for the first time for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying games with Romania and Armenia, collided with Manchester United FC striker Ruud van Nistelrooij in training on Thursday.

Months out
Meerdink had to be helped from the pitch and subsequent examinations in hospital in Amsterdam revealed the tear. Dr. Cor van der Hart, who examined the unfortunate player, expects the recovery will take between seven and nine months for Meerdink, who scored against FC Shakhtar Donetsk to help Alkmaar reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

'Sad event'
"It is clearly a very sad event," said Van Basten. "Martijn did very well, he adjusted well in the group and trained very well. It's a shame, because we were really satisfied with him."

Last updated: 25/03/05 11.12CET

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