FC Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel could be out of action for two months after sustaining an ankle injury on his return to international duty.
The 28-year-old will be sidelined for six to eight weeks after being hurt last night in a training-ground collision with team-mate George Boateng, ahead of the Netherlands' friendly against Italy on Saturday. Tests in Amsterdam today confirmed he has torn a ligament in his left ankle although fears that he had broken a bone were unfounded.
Van Bommel, who will miss the rest of the UEFA Champions League group stage with Barça already qualified for the knockout phase, had only just returned to the Oranje fold. He was called up for the first time since June to replace Wesley Sneijder, who had withdrawn with a hamstring problem. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough FC midfielder Boateng has been given the all-clear to resume training, despite hurting his right knee in the same incident.
'A great loss to the team'
Barcelona president Joan Laporta reacted to the news of his player, saying: "I spoke to Mark as soon as I found out, and I have to say it is a great loss for the team, both personally and professionally. Mark was feeling quite depressed and it is a pity because he has been doing very well at Barcelona."
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