O'Neil delays hernia surgery
Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil has been forced to delay hernia surgery due to an injury concern over Didier Digard. O'Neil was due to go under the knife on Tuesday after playing through the pain barrier to feature in the opening game of the season against Sheffield United. The former Portsmouth man was called into action three minutes before the interval when Digard was forced off the field with a groin problem. Digard is due to undergo scans later in the week which will determine the extent of his injury but could now be facing a spell on the sidelines. Riverside boss Gareth Southgate confirmed that O'Neil had agreed to put his own operation on hold with the former Paris St Germain player out of action. Southgate told the club's official website: "Gary was due to have a hernia op today, but he is now going to play through it for a little while. "He's been suffering some pain so that's why we didn't start him against Sheffield United, but he feels a little better after Friday. "Didier has a groin injury, possibly a small tear, we will know more on Wednesday when he has scans. "Given the injury to Didier, Gary wants to try and help the team by remaining available, so the plan now is for him to have the op just before our game with Bristol City (on 29th August)." Southgate also moved to play down injury concerns of two more of his squad ahead of Saturday's trip to Wales to tackle Swansea. He added: "Julio Arca is fine, he had a problem with a toe last week but he is fine now, while Rhys Williams suffered a kick against the Blades but we think he's fine."
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