AMSTERDAM (AP) — In a blow to the Netherlands' World Cup hopes, midfielder Kevin Strootman appears certain to miss the tournament because of a serious knee injury.
AS Roma said Monday the 24-year-old will undergo surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and possibly damaging the meniscus in his left knee during Sunday's 1-0 loss at Napoli.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said in a statement he talked to the injured midfielder by phone.
"I can imagine his world is falling apart at the moment," Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal said in a statement, adding that Strootman's loss "is also a blood-letting for the Netherlands team."
A left-footed player and strong tackler, Strootman has three goals in 25 international appearances and has captained the national team.
"Kevin played a major role in our qualification for the World Cup in Brazil," Van Gaal said.
The 2010 runners-up play defending champion Spain, Chile and Australia in the first round