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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 16:17 UK

Defender Bates faces long lay-off

Matthew Bates
Bates has recently signed a new contract at the Riverside Stadium

Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates faces a long spell on the sidelines after tearing the cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Bates suffered the injury during their 2-0 friendly win at Carlisle.

The Championship club have confirmed the 22-year-old will see a specialist in the next week, once the swelling on his knee has gone down.

"It's an injury he's had before so it's a major blow," Boro manager Gareth Southgate told BBC Tees.

"We don't want to say too much more until he's seen another specialist but obviously at the moment he's very down about things."

It is the fourth major knee injury Bates has suffered in his career.



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