Arjen Robben underwent a first full day of rehabilitation on Monday as he hopes to overcome a thigh muscle injury quickly to play for the Netherlands at the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich winger Robben, 26, damaged his left thigh in a tune-up match on Saturday and a scan on Sunday revealed a muscle fibre tear.

“If you let it heal without haste it takes four to six weeks, but we don’t have this time. I will now work hard with my physiotherapist. If all works out it could be fine again within a week,” Robben told the Studio Voetbal programme on Sunday night.

The Dutch open their World Cup campaign on June 14 against Denmark, with their other group E against Japan on June 19 and June 24 against Cameroon. A first knockout match would not be before June 28 which could give Robben three weeks to get fit again.

Coach Bert van Marwijk expressed his relief that Robben’s injury was not as bad as initially feared. He said at the team camp in Johannesburg that he won’t pick a possible replacement for Robben right now and that it will be known within the next days when Robben will join the team in South Africa.

If Robben can not play after all, van Marwijk can name a replacement until 24 hours before the first World Cup match.

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