FIRST TRAINING TOO SOON FOR PIERRE

Chances are that Pierre van Hooijdonk will miss the first training session of the new campaign a week on Saturday. Last season’s top scorer is suffering from muscle trouble in his hip: the same ailment that followed Van Hooijdonk around last May. The player was in hospital for an ultrasound cardiogram yesterday and was relieved to hear that no anomaly was found.

Feyenoord surgeon Rien Heijboer, who continues to believe that the problem stems from ‘a muscle strain’, is unwilling to take any risk and has ordered an MRI scan later in the week. Only after that will any decision be made on how to tackle the injury. ‘It was already giving me considerable discomfort at the end of the season. I thought it was just a muscle injury, because that’s how I experienced the pain. I was getting stabbing pains when I made certain movements,’ said Van Hooijdonk, who disclosed that he’d only had problems with the injury during the first two days of his holidays. ‘After that it went away by itself. I didn’t even think about it for a couple of weeks. It was only last weekend that the pain returned, for no apparent reason. It’s now giving me trouble on a day to day basis for the first time. I only used to feel it during training sessions and games. So I took the decision myself to report to the hospital. I want to know what’s going on.’ Pierre van Hooijdonk didn’t miss a single game of the 2001-2002 campaign due to injury. In the end, he did miss three European encounters on the back of a red card and was also rested in the final league game of the season at Willem II, three days before the UEFA Cup final in the Kuip against Borussia Dortmund.
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