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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Newcastle suffer Duff injury blow
Damien Duff
Duff scored just one league goal for the Magpies last season
Newcastle United's Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff is unlikely to be fit to play for new boss Sam Allardyce until November at the earliest.

Duff had foot surgery three weeks ago after injuring his ankle during a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth in April.

"It's six months but it depends on when he gets the cast off," said Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton, ahead of a friendly with Ecuador in New York.

"Who knows what we're looking at, but it's at least five to six months."

Duff's injury means he is likely to miss the Republic's four remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The Republic are away to Slovakia and the Czech Republic in September, before home games against Cyprus and Germany in October and November respectively.

Staunton added: "I think we'll be planning without him for the campaign because he'll only be regaining his fitness.

"If he comes back before that, brilliant for us. And if he doesn't, well, I'll have planned without him."

When Allardyce took over as Newcastle boss last week he said he would introduce the sort of scientific approach at the club that he adopted at Bolton - and hoped it would help solve the Magpies persistent injury problems.

Allardyce said: "There have been too many injuries. They seem to be forever talking about the everlasting injury list. One of the first things I will have to look at are why those injuries have happened.

"Far too many players have had too many injuries too often."

Duff ruled out for rest of season
16 Apr 07 |  Newcastle United
Newcastle name Allardyce as boss
15 May 07 |  Newcastle United


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