Robben vows to bounce back from latest injury setback

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - May 18, 2019 Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben celebrates scoring their fifth goal REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - FC Groningen winger Arjen Robben has insisted he will bounce back from his latest injury setback which saw him forced from the field just 29 minutes into his comeback match on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was returning for his boyhood club against PSV Eindhoven on the opening weekend of the new Dutch league season in his first game in over a year after coming out of retirement when he seemed to suffer a hamstring injury.

“It was the worst possible scenario that I could think of,” Robben told De Volkskrant newspaper on Monday.

He looked to have pulled his hamstring in a short sprint for the ball, immediately calling to be substituted and then ripping off his shirt in frustration as he left the pitch. He went home before the end of the game, which visiting PSV won 3-1.

Robben, who has a long history of injuries, said he would have a scan on Tuesday to see how serious the latest setback is.

“It happened and there is nothing I can do about it. But it is not the time to now hide away in a corner but to rather get back with a positive attitude. You are not rid of me yet,” the former Netherlands international told the newspaper.

Robben, who won 12 league titles during his career at PSV, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munch, retired at the end of the 2018-19 season but in June announced he was returning at his local club where he made his professional debut as a teenager.

His decision to make a comeback was a major boon to Groningen in difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with new sponsors signing on and increased season ticket sales.

The injury overshadowed the action on the opening weekend of the Dutch season in a country where Robben is an icon after making 96 appearances for the national side, dominating post action television and radio talk shows and newspaper columns.

Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris