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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 13:37 GMT
Hutchison out until 2003
West Ham's Don Hutchison is stretchered off during the game against Middlesbrough
West Ham paid Sunderland 5m for Hutchison
Scotland and West Ham United midfielder Don Hutchison could be out of action until the beginning of next year.

The 30-year-old was carried off with a knee injury during Saturday's 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

And a scan on Tuesday revealed that he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

West Ham manager Glenn Roeder said: "It's a bad injury and one which could rule him out for 10 months.


His loss will be a great blow to the team
SFA's Andy Mitchell
"This is devastating for Don."

Speculation had suggested that Hutchison was unsettled at Upton Park, but any prospective moves will now be put on hold and Roeder stressed that he was an integral part of his team.

The injury also puts Hutchison out of new Scotland manager Berti Vogts' team-building plans.

Hutchison will miss several, yet-to-be-arranged friendlies and at least two Euro 2004 group qualifiers.

Vogts does not start his job until the weekend, but Scottish Football Association spokesman Andy Mitchell said: "Don has been a revelation since he made his debut two years ago and is one of the most popular players with the fans.

"His loss will be a great blow to the team."

Roeder has also lost club captain Steve Lomas for up to a month as he too injured knee ligaments against Boro.

In addition, midfielder Michael Carrick is still three weeks away from playing.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Brian Donald
"Hutchison's injury is a huge blow for Scotland"
See also:

26 Feb 02 |  Newcastle United
Bellamy blow for Newcastle
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