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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 13:27 UK

Downing ruled out until December

Stewart Downing
Downing had hoped to make his Villa debut in October

Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has admitted he is unlikely to make an appearance for his new club before early December.

Downing, 25, fractured his foot playing for Middlesbrough against Villa in May but had hoped to return in October.

However, after completing a £12m move to Villa Park it has emerged he needs a further two months to be fully fit.

"I've had to have it pinned and that should come out in September. Then it's a case of building it up," he said.

Once fit, Downing will have an eye on regaining a place in the England set-up ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Fabio Capello's squad having all-but secured qualification.


"I'm sure I will play before Christmas. The manager [Martin O'Neill] wants me 100% right and is prepared to give me extra time to do it," Downing added.

"The injury is a bit of a strange one. It's not a break but there's a fracture there.

"The target is early December. If I'm ready before then that's a bonus. If it's after it just needs time to heal."

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see also
Downing joins Villa in 12m move
16 Jul 09 |  Aston Villa
Southgate braced for player exits
25 May 09 |  Middlesbrough
Boro rule out Downing departure
07 Jan 09 |  Middlesbrough
Downing signs new Boro contract
26 Feb 08 |  Middlesbrough

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