Netherlands' Maret Balkestein-Grothues (6) and Yvon Belien right, celebrate during a Women's preliminary volleyball match against the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke
August 09, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Netherlands women's volleyball captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues will not play in Wednesday's third group match against Italy because of an ankle injury sustained in a five-set loss to the United States on Monday.

Coach Giovanni Guidetti told The Associated Press in a message Tuesday via Twitter that Balkestein-Grothues might need more than four or five days to recover, a blow for a determined Dutch team that has played spectacular volleyball thus far at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

''Thanks for all the sweet messages and support,'' Balkestein-Grothues posted on her Twitter account Tuesday afternoon. ''Now it's difficult to say what the exact damage is on my ankle, but the bone is not broken.''

The Netherlands pulled off an upset against No. 3 China in Saturday's opener before pushing the top-ranked Americans to five sets Monday, 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8. Balkestein-Grothues was hurt in the fourth set and didn't return.

An MRI exam after Monday's match showed Balkestein-Grothues had nothing broken in the sprained right ankle, Guidetti said. She is undergoing regular treatment for the injury from the Dutch medical staff in hopes she could return by week's end.

She is one of the spirited emotional leaders for the 11th-ranked Netherlands squad, back in the Olympics for volleyball for the first time in 20 years.

''The injury is big and the ankle is really very big right now,'' Guidetti said. ''Physiotherapist and doctor are working with her continuously! It's not the first time in this season that the team lost a teammate. `Til now we always reacted good, giving anybody something extra - like we wanna do tomorrow!''

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