De Jong recalled to Dutch squad

EINDHOVEN - Nigel de Jong will return to the Dutch side to face Austria in a friendly on Wednesday, bringing to an end a three-match exile imposed on the midfielder for his violent tackling.

De Jong broke midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa's leg in a Premier League match in October and was dropped from the Dutch squad by coach Bert Van Marwijk a day later when the team gathered for their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Moldava and Sweden.

On Friday, the 26-year-old De Jong was included in the 22-man squad.

"Nigel just has to play his own game... but if you get older you often make better choices," Van Marwijk told reporters.

"I spoke with Nigel also about that and I have to say that he is playing well the last weeks."

Despite the presence of striker Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy was also named in the squad.

"As long as I believe that Ruud (van Nistelrooy) can be valuable for us in 2012, I will keep him in my squad," added the coach.

Netherlands top Group E with 12 points from four matches.

Goalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam), Michel Vorm (Utrecht)

Defenders: Urby Emanuelson (AC Milan), John Heitinga (Everton), Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax Amsterdam), Peter Wisgerhof (Twente Enschede), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg SV)

Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Mark van Bommel (AC Milan), Theo Janssen (Twente Enschede), Hedwiges Maduro (Valencia), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Kevin Strootman (Utrecht)

Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (PSV Eindhoven), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Ruud van Nistelrooy (SV Hamburg), Eljero Elia (Hamburg SV)