The injury suffered by Liverpool’s Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt in Saturday’s 1-1 Euro 2008 qualifying draw with Bulgaria, is not that serious, the Dutch football association (KNVB) has confirmed.
Kuyt will miss Wednesday’s match against Albania but a scan has revealed the striker did not tear ankle ligaments.
“After examination in a hospital, Dirk Kuyt’s injury has turned out better than expected. Initially, the striker was thought to have torn his ankle ligament in the match against Bulgaria but he probably only strained it,” the KNVB said in a statement.
“It is not known how long the Liverpool striker will be sidelined but he will not be in action on Wednesday.”
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was furious that Kuyt was not allowed to return to England to receive treatment.
“They have kept the player, but if he was a doubt for Wednesday it means he is not fit – and they should understand that,” Benitez told the Daily Mail.
“They were talking about seeing if he can play on Wednesday, but what happens then?”
Benitez also joined the call for national associations to compensate clubs for players injured on international duty.
“I believe the national associations should pay 50% of a player’s wage when they play for their country, and 100% if they are injured, for as long as they can’t play a competitive game,” he said.
“Spain are playing a friendly with Argentina on Wednesday. Why? Maybe it would be different if they had to pay their salaries. I would prefer to have Kuyt return fit than be compensated, but this is a big problem.”