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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
England duo face fitness wait
David James (on ground) and Martin Keown (right) stop Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink getting through
James (ground) and Keown (right) collided
David James faces a lengthy lay-off and Martin Keown's chances of being fit for the start of the Premiership season hang in the balance.

The pair collided and came off during England's friendly against Holland on Wednesday and now face an anxious wait on their fitness.

James was in line to make his West Ham debut against former club Liverpool on the opening day of the season but could be out for a lengthy spell.

"Our physio is not normally wrong on these matters," said West Ham boss Glenn Roeder.

When I got up on the pitch and tried moving the knee it locked which wasn't good
  David James
"He has had a look at David and he fears it could be months rather than weeks."

James said: "Martin collided with my leg and twisted my knee. I won't know how bad it is until the scan results are seen.

"It's unfortunate but these things happen. I'm happy that I am walking because when I got up on the pitch and tried moving the knee it locked which wasn't good."


Keown's injury does not seem as severe as James' and he is hoping to be fit for Arsenal's season-opener against Middlesbrough.

He said: "It was quite a bad, albeit accidental, challenge and I thought I was going to be out for some time.

I may have got away with something that could have been a lot worse
  Martin Keown

"I really thought I'd done something serious.

"But I'm hoping now that I've just jarred the knee through over-extending it and we will see what happens in the next few days.

"I don't think there will be a scan. I think the doctors are hopeful that it is going to settle down.

"Fingers crossed, I may have got away with something that could have been a lot worse.

"I am hopeful for Saturday but we will have to see how it settles down in the next 24 hours.

"David injured his knee as well and it was just one of those unfortunate things."

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