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Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Diarra set to miss rest of season

Mahamadou Diarra
Defensive midfielder Diarra is likely to miss the rest of the season

Mali midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will be sidelined for six to nine months after undergoing knee surgery, his club Real Madrid confirmed on Monday.

The 27-year-old sustained the injury to his right knee while playing for his country against Chad in October.

He was initially out of action for two weeks before returning for Real.

A month later, however, he aggravated the injury in a league game and an X-ray last week confirmed he would need arthroscopic surgery.

Diarra's absence will only adds to Real's long injury list.

The Spanish champions have struggled this season due to a shortage of fit players and they are fifth in the Spanish table, nine points behind leaders Barcelona.

The club signed Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar last week and he is being seen as a replacement for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is also out until the end of the season with a knee injury.

Diarra will also be sorely missed by Mali, as he will be absent for the opening matches of their final round of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, which begin in March.

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see also
Diarra out for up to six months
03 Dec 08 |  African
Diarra out with thigh trouble
10 Nov 08 |  African
Diarra, Kanoute leave for Spain
15 Jun 07 |  African

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