x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Van Persie nearing return

Robin van Persie has an outside chance of making the Netherlands' opener against Italy after completing his first full training session.

Robin van Persie took a full part in the Dutch squad's training session on Wednesday.
Robin van Persie took a full part in the Dutch squad's training session on Wednesday.

LAUSANNE // Robin van Persie has an outside chance of making the Netherlands' European Championship opener against Italy after making it through his first full training session on Wednesday. The Arsenal forward has been carrying a thigh strain but coach Marco van Basten is keen to have him available to play in Monday's opener against Italy even though he is well stocked in the attacking department. "It is good to be back," van Persie said, admitting the 90-minute training session had left him drained. Van Basten though, was playing his cards close to his chest as to whether the winger would make it into the starting XI in Bern. "If van Persie trains incredibly well, then it could possibly be decided that we let him play," van Basten said. "We have to wait and see." Van Persie said he would have little doubt if he had to make the choice. "I would put myself in the line-up nine out of 10 times," he said. With the Real Madrid trio of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Ruud van Nistelrooy and Hamburg's Rafael van der Vaart also available, the Dutch may decide not to risk van Persie.

*AP