Van der Vaart withdraws from Netherlands squad

Rafael van der Vaart has withdrawn from the Netherlands squad after suffering a thigh injury in training.

The Hamburg playmaker left the Netherlands camp on Tuesday after tearing the muscle, and he will miss his nation's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Estonia and Andorra as a result.

The Dutch Football Federation confirmed on Wednesday that Van der Vaart, 30, had withdrawn from the squad, and will be replaced by PSV youngster Adam Maher.

Georginio Wijnaldum also withdrew from the Netherlands squad on Monday, after suffering an ankle injury. Galatasaray star Wesley Sneijder replaced him, returning to the squad for the first time since being stripped of the international captaincy.

The Netherlands comfortably lead Group D and are in pole position to qualify for the FIFA World Cup after winning their first six matches.

Louis van Gaal's side can clinch their qualification for next year's tournament in Brazil if they win in both Estonia and Andorra.


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