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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Smicer out for six months
Liverpool's Czech midfielder Vladimir Smicer
The Czech star faces six months on the sidelines
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has indicated he will try to sign a new midfielder with the news Vladimir Smicer will be out for six months.

Smicer has had surgery on his right knee to repair knee ligament damage picked up during pre-season.

"It is hard for him and for us but I hope he has strength of mind to come back from this," said Benitez after his team's pre-season defeat to Porto.

"He is with us and we are with him. But we will try for a right-midfielder."

The Czech Euro 2004 star played in the first half of their 5-1 friendly win over Celtic on Tuesday and underwent surgery on Friday.

A club spokesman added: "It is disappointing news for both him and the club. We wish him well as he begins his recovery."

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