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Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Batty blow for Leeds

Batty may not play until Christmas
Leeds midfielder David Batty could be out until Christmas after undergoing an operation on an Achilles problem.

The injury has plagued the England star since November and Batty's absence from the start of the Premiership season will be a blow to the Elland Road outfit.

The former Newcastle number eight has played only 20 minutes of football since tearing his calf muscle.

An operation became the only option left open to Batty after intensive treatment and trips to see a specialist in France and Lilleshall were unsuccessful.

The club's chairman Peter Ridsdale told the Yorkshire Post: "The initial reaction of our medical staff is that the operation went very well, though we cannot put a time-scale on when David will be playing again.

"His leg will be in plaster for several weeks and we will have a better indication of his progress when the cast is removed, although he will definitely miss the start of the season."

Batty was a regular in the England squad and a firm favourite with the national team and former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan.

Although the midfielder will miss Euro 2000 he will be hoping to be part of Keegan's World Cup qualifying plans.

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