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Boro hopeful over Wheater

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20 May 2009 10:01:00

Boro hopeful over Wheater

Middlesbrough are hopeful key defender David Wheater will be available for their final-day showdown with West Ham. The 22-year-old will miss England's European Under-21 Championships campaign to undergo surgery on a torn knee cartilage which has been troubling him for several weeks. Indeed, he missed the 3-1 derby defeat at Newcastle on May 11 because of the problem, sparking fears he might not play again this term. However, he returned for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, and Boro are optimistic he will be able to line up at Upton Park on Sunday as the Teessiders attempt to defy the odds to retain their place in the Barclays Premier League. But winger Stewart Downing's season is over after it emerged that he did suffer a fracture in his right foot during the Villa game. It was initially thought there had been no break, but scans later identified a problem and the 24-year-old is due to undergo further tests to assess the full extent of the damage.


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