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Chivu out until new year

Published: Monday 2 December 2002, 18.19CET
AFC Ajax captain Cristian Chivu is expected to be out until after the winter break through injury.
Published: Monday 2 December 2002, 18.19CET

Chivu out until new year

AFC Ajax captain Cristian Chivu is expected to be out until after the winter break through injury.

AFC Ajax captain Cristian Chivu will be out of action for up to three weeks after picking up an injury yesterday.

Muscle strain
The Romanian defender, who hurt his knee playing for his country last month which kept him out for just over a week, strained muscles at the top of his right leg in the 2-1 victory against FC Twente. Chivu, 22, was already ruled out of Ajax's UEFA Champions League second group stage home match against AS Roma on 10 December due to suspension.

Knee trouble
It had initially been thought last month that Chivu would be out for four weeks after he hurt his knee in Romania's 1-0 defeat against Norway. Although the problem was not as bad as first feared and he returned to action, this latest injury could now keep him out until the new year. He is expected to miss all of Ajax's league games before the winter break begins after the 22 December fixture at SC Excelsior, including the home meeting with PSV Eindhoven.

Inspirational captain
The Dutch double winners are in Group B of the second group stage, along with Roma, Arsenal FC and Valencia CF. Chivu, as captain, was an impressive performer last week as Ajax nearly took all three points in Valencia before finishing with a 1-1 draw. Reports at the weekend, however, suggested this could be Chivu's final season in Amsterdam after director Arie van Eijden announced at a shareholders' meeting that the player was likely to move to Real Madrid CF in the summer.

Last updated: 03/12/02 14.00CET

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