Football: Blind likely to be back for Euro 2020, says Dutch coach

Football: Blind likely to be back for Euro 2020, says Dutch coach

FILE PHOTO: Euro 2020 Qualifier - Netherlands Training
Netherlands' Daley Blind during training before a Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Football Stadium in Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Nov 15, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff, Action Images)

AMSTERDAM: Doctors are predicting that Netherlands defender Daley Blind will recover from injury and be ready for the European Championship, coach Frank de Boer said.

The 31-year-old was included on Friday (May 14) in a provisional squad that De Boer named for the tournament despite not playing since March, when he hurt both his ankle and knee in a World Cup qualifying win over Gibraltar.

Blind had surgery to repair torn ankle ligaments, ruling him out of the rest of the Dutch league season, but is in line for a return next month.

"We assume that Daley will make it, given the forecasts of the doctors," said De Boer. "He is also positive about it. But it may be that he is only available during the tournament, if he suffers a setback."

Blind's experience could be key for the Dutch in the tournament, where they are drawn against Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine, especially after Virgil van Dijk ruled himself out earlier in the week after deciding not to risk his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

"It is especially sad for him. He has never played a final tournament. But the European Championship is just too early for him," said De Boer.

"Let's hope we qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, so he can be there."

Source: Reuters/kg