Van der Vaart sprained a calf muscle during Tuesday's training in Lagos, Portugal. On Monday he had already missed training due to a mild fever and he did not arrive fully fit at the training camp after a disappointing second half of the season with his club Hamburger SV, reports Xinhua.
His participation in the World Cup was already in jeopardy due to his lack of fitness. Van der Vaart seemed battling with Feyenoord midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum for the second playmaker spot in the squad after Wesley Sneijder.
With 109 international caps, Van der Vaart was the most experienced player in the Dutch squad and was present at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup and the European Championships of 2004, 2008 and 2012. He left Portugal together with the rest of the squad Tuesday and had a rest day on Wednesday. The team will gather again on Thursday in Rotterdam.
The absence of Van der Vaart is the second major blow for 'Oranje' after a knee injury already ruined Kevin Strootman's chances of playing in Brazil. Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal will now choose his 23-man World Cup team from the 29 players left from the preliminary squad. He will name his definite selection on Saturday ahead of the friendly against Ghana in Rotterdam. The FIFA deadline for naming squads is June 2.