Alves fears confirmed as broken foot sidelines Middlesbrough striker
12 May 2009 04:27
Middlesbrough's record signing Afonso Alves will miss the final two games of the season after x-rays confirmed he has broken his foot.
The Brazil striker was carried off on a stretcher following a foul by Nicky Butt during Boro's 3-1 defeat at Newcastle last night.
The latest injury means boss Gareth Southgate will be without Alves, David Wheater and captain Emanuel Pogatetz for the remaining games against Aston Villa and West Ham.
Southgate was unhappy with Butt's challenge which earned the veteran midfielder a caution from Mike Dean.
The Middlesbrough manager said: 'It was the turning point in the game because Afonso and Marvin Emnes started well and were causing Newcastle problems. They looked nervy at the back, as we did, but that changed things. And there was no attempt to play the ball.'
Alves has only scored four league goals all season and has again failed to live up to the £12 million paid to Heerenveen 15 months ago.
If Boro are relegated they may now find it difficult to move the Brazil international on as he recovers from this break, although the club have not announced how long the striker will be out.
Wheater meanwhile has a knee injury which forced him out of the Tyne-Tees derby and Pogatetz was also ruled out of the finale to the season because he requires surgery on his knee.