Belgium's preparations for their final Group A fixture against the Netherlands have been hit by the news that central defender Thomas Vermaelen will miss the rest of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship because of a shoulder injury.
Injured against Israel
Vermaelen hurt his shoulder during Wednesday's 1-0 win against Israel but played on with his side down to ten men. The AFC Ajax player went to a Groningen hospital on Thursday, however, where tests revealed he would need three weeks' rest. His absence constitutes a serious setback for Belgium coach Jean-François De Sart whose team have benefited from Vermaelen's excellent partnership with Nicolas Lombaerts at the back.
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