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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 18:06 UK

Santa Cruz undergoes knee surgery

Roque Santa Cruz
Roque Santa Cruz joined Blackburn from Bayern Munich in July 2007

Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz faces an extended spell out of action after undergoing knee surgery.

The 27-year-old Paraguay international has been on the sidelines with tendonitis since the 0-0 draw with Everton at the beginning of March.

Rovers manager Sam Allardyce told BBC Radio Lancashire: "He's had a little arthroscopy to clean out floating fragment in the knee.

"I'm not putting a time limit on his return but hopefully it won't be long."

Santa Cruz was the subject of repeated enquiries from Manchester City during the January transfer window, and has made just seven appearances for Blackburn since 1 February, scoring twice.

Allardyce added: "There is little you can do about a little bit of fragment that drops off, floats around and causes swelling. You have to have it seen to."

Santa Cruz's extended absence will add to Allardyce's attacking selection problems.

With Matt Derbyshire and Paul Gallagher away from Ewood Park on loan deals they can not be recalled from this season, and Jason Roberts (metatarsal) and El-Hadji Diouf (illness) all unavailable, Allardyce had no recognised strikers for last Saturday's trip to Liverpool.

Centre-half Christopher Samba was employed as a makeshift forward for the 4-0 defeat at Anfield.

Diouf is expected to be fit for this weekend's trip to Stoke City.

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