The Hague, March 11 (IANS) Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal is shocked by the news that Kevin Strootman will miss the FIFA World Cup due to a serious knee injury.
Strootman got injured Sunday during a Serie A match of his club AS Roma at Napoli (0-1 loss). The 24-year-old limped off after only 13 minutes, reports Xinhua.
An MRI scan and examination Monday showed that the midfielder has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and there could also be damage to the meniscus. He will undergo surgery in the next few days. Strootman will be out for at least half a year and therefore will miss the remainder of the Serie A season and also the World Cup.
"This is dramatic for Kevin. I can imagine that his world right now just collapsed. For the Dutch national team, this is a big loss. Kevin had a very big contribution to our qualification for the World Cup in Brazil. His dream fell apart," van Gaal said Monday.
Since moving from PSV to AS Roma last year, Strootman developed into a key player at the Italian club. The 25-time Dutch international was also a key figure in the Dutch team.
After Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, he was third captain. Van Gaal had hinted that these three were the only ones certain of a starting spot in the Dutch team.
Strootman received support from Dutch captain Van Persie.
"I wish @Kevin_strootman a speedy recovery so gutted for you my friend! I'm sure you will come back even stronger!" van Persie said on Twitter.