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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 15:14 GMT
Vaesen blow for Blues
Birmingham goalkeeper Nico Vaesen will be sidelined for nine months with a knee injury.

Vaesen snapped a cruciate ligament in his right knee late on during the derby win against Aston Villa.

He collapsed in agony clutching his knee after making a clearance and underwent an operation which revealed the extent of the damage.

Long-serving Ian Bennett will now take the number one mantle for Birmingham with Australia Under-23 international Clint Davies as his deputy.

Bennett's contract at St Andrews expires at the end of this season and the next nine games of the Premiership season could have a major say on his future at the club.

Manager Steve Bruce attempted to bring in an experienced understudy for Bennett.

But a request to the Premier League for special dispensation to sign a keeper outside the transfer window was rejected.


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