Robben omitted for Austria friendly

ROTTERDAM - Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk left winger Arjen Robben out of his squad for the friendly against Austria on Wednesday despite the Bayern Munich player's recent recovery from long-term injury.

Robben returned to action last month for the first time since last year's World Cup following a hamstring injury which also caused a dispute between his club and the Dutch soccer association.

"Arjen is just back on the pitch after a half-year absence," Van Marwijk told reporters ahead of Wednesday's match in Amsterdam.

"He needs time to get used to playing regular matches physically and mentally and that is why I didn't invite him."

Van Marwijk has welcomed back injured internationals as soon as they resume playing for their clubs, but on the last occasion it earned him criticism from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in the case of striker Robin van Persie.

Van Marwijk must improvise in midfield with Rafael van der Vaart and Nigel de Jong both out injured. Theo Janssen is likely to partner Mark van Bommel.

Van der Vaart replaced De Jong as the holding midfielder during the three matches the Manchester City midfielder was dropped for following a tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa in a Premier League match in October.