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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 28, 2006

Dutch expect Van der Vaart to be fit for finals

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, May 28 (Reuters) - Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, the only man missing from Dutch coach Marco van Basten's first-choice line-up in a 1-0 friendly win over Cameroon on Saturday, should be fit for the World Cup, his team said.

Van der Vaart chose to miss the match after feeling the effects of a recent ankle injury during training in Switzerland last week.

The only other injured player in the Netherlands squad is defender Kew Jaliens, who is recovering from a flesh wound in his thigh but is expected to join the team's training sessions this week.

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the winning goal against Cameroon midway through the first half in the Dutch side's first warm-up match for the World Cup, which starts on June 9.

Cameroon, 15th on FIFA's ranking list, have not qualified for the finals in Germany.

The Netherlands will host Mexico in another warm-up match on Thursday and Australia three days later before they start their World Cup campaign on June 11 against Serbia and Montenegro in Leipzig.

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