Soccer-Dutch pair De Ligt and Verbruggen back in training after virus scare

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa Conference League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Villarreal v Anderlecht - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - March 16, 2023 Anderlecht's Bart Verbruggen during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Juan Medina

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) - Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt and uncapped goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen rejoined the squad for training on Saturday after being forced to leave the camp last Thursday due to a virus infection, the Dutch FA said.

Both players missed the 4-0 loss at France in their Euro 2024 Group B qualifying opener on Friday but have recovered sufficiently to come into contention for selection for Monday’s next qualifier at home to Gibraltar in Rotterdam.

The pair were among five players sent home after a virus swept through the squad on the eve of their trip to Paris.

There was no update on the condition of defender Sven Botman, striker Cody Gakpo or midfielder Joey Veerman, who were also suffering flu-like symptoms.

But the Dutch have lost two more players with Lutsharel Geertruida, who made his debut against France, suffering a hamstring injury and centre back Stefan de Vrij returning to his home in Italy as his girlfriend was due to give birth.

Gibraltar lost their opening game 3-0 at home to Greece.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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