Babel out for 'five to seven weeks'

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel should be fit in time for next season after it was revealed his ankle injury could take as little as five weeks to heal.

The 21-year-old was ruled out of Holland’s Euro 2008 campaign after tearing ligaments in training on Saturday, but national coach Marco van Basten insists he should be able to take his place in Rafael Benitez’s side when they kick off the new season in August.

“He needs five to seven weeks to recover,” Van Basten said of the former Ajax youngster.

“He was on the other end of the field when he turned around. He told me that he heard something snap, and others heard it too. He went to a hospital and there it became clear he had torn a muscle.”

Liverpool’s next confirmed match is a friendly away to Villarreal on July 30, by which time, if the Holland coach’s assessment is right, Babel should be back in training.

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