Dirk Kuyt suffered what Holland described as a "very serious" ankle injury and Daniel Agger was also hurt on international duty tonight, giving the Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, more to worry about before the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Agger, making his comeback from a groin problem, lasted 39 minutes of Denmark's 2-0 home victory against Cyprus. Kuyt was taken to hospital with a serious ankle injury picked up in Holland's qualifier against Sweden.
According to the Liverpool website, both players will be assessed on their return to Melwood before any decision is made about the weekend, although Dutch media were tonight suggesting Kuyt may be out of action until the new year. The forward had to come off just before the half-hour in the 4-1 victory over Sweden when he landed awkwardly after jumping for a ball with Sweden's Daniel Majstorovic.
"Dirk wanted to play on but our doctor prevented that and told me to substitute him," the Holland coach, Bert van Marwijk, said. "He is now in a hospital but following the doctor's first opinion it could be a very serious ankle injury and keep him sidelined for a long time."
Kuyt also hurt himself on international duty in September, injuring a shoulder during training.
Germany scored three times in the second half against Kazakhstan to go top of Group A with four wins from four. Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski were on target. Azerbaijan registered their first points of the campaign with a shock 1-0 defeat of Guus Hiddink's Turkey courtesy of Rashad Sadygov's 39th-minute effort.
France remained top of Group D with an uninspiring 2-0 win over visiting Luxembourg. Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff scored in each half.