RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Bruno Martins Indi returned to training for the Netherlands at the World Cup on Tuesday after missing the final group game with concussion, indicating the defender may be available for the last 16 match against Mexico.
But while one player was making a comeback, another was sidelined. Leroy Fer, who scored the first Dutch goal against Chile in his team’s 2-0 victory on Monday, injured a hamstring in training, the team announced.
“The coming days will establish how serious the injury is,” the team said in a statement.
Martins Indi worked out with the squad at the Dutch training ground in southern Rio de Janeiro, running and taking part in passing and shooting drills.
It was the first time he had gone through a full training session since sustaining a concussion in the second group game against Australia. He missed Monday’s defeat of Chile in Sao Paulo, which confirmed the Netherlands as Group B winners with three straight victories.
Captain and striker Robin van Persie also trained after sitting out the Chile game due to suspension.
Netherlands will play Group A runner-up Mexico in the second round on Sunday in Fortaleza.
Martins Indi wasn’t the only person back on the training pitch in Rio, a group of players’ children also took to the field as training wound down, playing in one of the goals.
Players’ wives and girlfriends also were in the stands watching — part of coach Louis van Gaal’s strategy of keeping his players fresh in the pressure-cooker environment of the World Cup by allowing them time with their families.
The families also appeared at training the day after the Dutch stunned defending champion Spain 5-1 in their World Cup opener.
Dirk Kuyt, who played his 99th international against Chile but his first as left back, welcomed the move.
“Every day we are focusing on the games, training a lot, we are in the hotel and we are only focusing on the games,” he said, “to have the opportunity to share some time with your family … just a couple of hours a week, it’s amazing and mentally very refreshing.”
AP sports writer Gerald Imray contributed to this report.
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