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Southgate laments Downing injury
Published : 23 May 2009 11:07:00
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has admitted Stewart Downing's injury misery is bad news whether or not the club remains in the Premier League. The 24-year-old midfielder has undergone surgery to repair the bone he broke in his right foot last weekend and will not only miss the season finale at West Ham, but England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra. Downing will have to look on helplessly as his home-town club attempt to stave off the seemingly inevitable at Upton Park where only a victory and favourable results elsewhere will extend their 11-year stay in the Barclays Premier League. However, in the longer term, the injury could also ruin his chances of a big-money move away from Teesside during the summer, and also the club's chances of cashing in on him should they slip into the Coca-Cola Championship. Asked if Downing's injury could ironically keep him at the Riverside Stadium, Southgate said: "Possibly, depending on time-scale. "But if he is here, it probably means he won't be available for the early part of the season anyway, so it is a bit of a double-edged sword."