Middlesbrough FC defender Ugo Ehiogu will be out of action for several months after suffering a knee ligament injury.
The 30-year-old central defender, who has won four caps for England, sustained the injury in Middlesbrough's penultimate match of the Premiership season against Tottenham Hotspur FC, and had to be substituted after just eleven minutes of the match. However, the seriousness of the injury only became clear after Ehiogu underwent a scan on Friday.
'Resting the knee'
"He had scans soon after the Tottenham match," said Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren. "Unfortunately, they didn't reveal the full extent of the injury, as can often be the case. It was believed he had suffered bone bruising so he has been resting the knee over the summer."
"But when he joined the other lads for his fitness assessment on Thursday, the knee became swollen," McClaren said. "We sent him for further scans which this time revealed the rupture. It is a big blow to lose Ugo in this way. He's a huge influence on the team and a big part of our defence."
Ehiogu became Middlesbrough's record signing when he joined from Aston Villa FC for €11.6m in October 2000. He has gone on to make 82 appearances for the club, scoring seven goals in the process, and played 31 games last season.
©Reuters 1998-2010. All rights reserved.