Van der Sar on compassionate leave

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LONDON, December 29 – Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has been granted indefinite compassionate leave after his wife suffered a brain haemorrhage, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 39-year-old former Dutch international, who has been absent since last month’s win over Everton with a knee injury, had been given permission to return to the Netherlands over the festive period and receive treatment from the national team doctor.

But his 36-year-old wife Annemarie van Kesteren collapsed last Wednesday as Van der Sar and his young family were preparing to celebrate Christmas and the goalkeeper has been granted permission to stay away from Manchester.

Ferguson said: "Annemarie had a problem over in Holland a week ago and has been admitted to hospital. That is the best place for her to be. They have examined her twice and are trying to get to the root of it.

"I have told Edwin to stay over there. There is no point in him being here. The best thing is for him to be with his wife. Hopefully she will make a good recovery."

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