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Robin van Persie return to Netherlands squad cut short by knee injury

Robin van Persie will not be available to face Bulgaria.

Robin van Persie pulled out of the Netherlands squad on Friday after picking up an injury in the 4-0 loss to France.

The country's all-time leading scorer entered Thursday's World Cup qualifier in the 64th minute, but his return to the squad after nearly two years has been cut short.

The Dutch federation said Van Persie injured his knee at the Stade de France and will not be available for Sunday's Group A qualifier against Bulgaria in Amsterdam.

The loss to France left Netherlands in fourth place in Group A and struggling to earn a possible playoff to reach next year's World Cup in Russia.

"We still have our destiny in our own hands," coach Dick Advocaat said on Thursday. "If we win our last three games we'll finish second and go to the playoffs."

Midfielder Kevin Strootman will be suspended for the Bulgaria game after being sent off against France.

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