September 3, 2014 / 11:28 AM / 5 years ago

Van Basten given time to recover from health problems

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Marco van Basten will not return to his post as AZ Alkmaar coach until mid-September after being given more time to recover from personal and health problems, the Dutch club said on Wednesday.

The 49-year-old Van Basten, former European Footballer of the Year, was given leave last week and missed the 3-1 win at Dordrecht on Saturday. “Marco van Basten is being given longer time by AZ to rest. After a good discussion between the club and coach it has been decided he will stay at home until Sunday, Sept. 14 and after that report back to Alkmaar,” said a statement on the club’s website.

“On the advice of the club doctor and in discussion with Marco it was decided that rest would help his recovery. Football is very important but good health is more important than that,” added AZ’s technical director Ernie Stewart.

AZ have not given any details of Van Basten’s problems but Dutch media reported that he had been suffering from heart palpitations since the death of his father last month.

He will miss the club’s next league game on Sept. 13 against Heerenveen, who he left at the end of last season to join AZ on a two-year contract. His assistants Alex Pastoor and Dennis Haar will take charge again.

Van Basten’s coaching career began with Ajax Amsterdam’s reserves in 2003 but a year later he was named Netherlands coach, staying from 2004-2008, and then spent one year at Ajax. He did not work for three years until joining Heerenveen.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Tony Goodson

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