Madrid: Real Madrid and Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart will be out for at least three weeks after damaging a thigh muscle at Real Zaragoza on Saturday, the club said on Monday.
Van der Vaart, who was replaced by Raul after a quarter of an hour of Real`s 2-1 victory at the Romareda, is an important part of the Dutch squad that will compete at the World Cup in South Africa starting in June.
A scan had revealed the extent of the damage, Real said on their website (www.realmadrid.com), and Van der Vaart could miss all four of the club`s remaining league matches, at home to Osasuna on May 2, at Real Mallorca on May 5, at home to Athletic Bilbao on May 9 and at Malaga on May 16.
The Netherlands begin their World Cup campaign against Denmark on June 14. Cameroon and Japan are also in Group E.