Freak accident ends Ferdinand's season

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The Independent Online

Les Ferdinand has been ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his wrist in a freak accident at home. The 35-year-old Tottenham striker, who is the club's leading scorer with 15 goals, has missed the last three games with an Achilles injury, but was hoping to return before the end of the current campaign. However, his season is now over after he fell awkwardly and fractured a bone in his wrist.

"I was just messing about at home and toppled over," said Ferdinand. "I fell awkwardly and my wrist seemed to take most of the weight. It is definitely fractured and I will be seeing a specialist in the next couple of days to find out the full extent of the damage. I don't yet know how long it will take to heal but I don't think I'll play again this season."

While the Spurs manager, Glenn Hoddle, has lost one striker, he was boosted by the news that Chris Armstrong played in his first competitive game for over a year last night when he came through 45 minutes of a reserve match. Armstrong, who had hernia surgery, last played for Spurs in December 2000.

The Everton captain, Duncan Ferguson, faces a £35,000 fine for hitting Fredi Bobic and costing the Goodison club a three-game run-in without him. Ferguson will learn his fate soon, but the club's new manager David Moyes is set to punish him with the penalty of a week's wages.

Moyes made Ferguson captain when he took over from Walter Smith and the striker responded with three goals in three stirring displays. But his rash punch into the ribs of the Bolton striker's ribs earned him a red card and a ban that will see him miss three crucial games.

Blackburn Rovers are facing a fight to keep their Spanish striker Yordi, who says he is feeling homesick and is due to become a father.

The Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, wants to keep the aggressive forward, on loan from Real Zaragoza, but Yordi has confessed to a Spanish newspaper that he is struggling to adapt in England.

Souness will be concerned as Yordi's remarks are similar to comments made by the Italian striker, Corrado Grabbi, before he left the club in a hurry.

Yordi said: "Blackburn is a small, grey, industrial city and for that reason I live in Manchester. It takes 40 minutes to go to training, but it's fine. They don't understand me and I don't understand them. I survive with the English I learned at school. I remember Spain, my family and Cadiz. The light, the shrimps. I am also going to be a father."

However, Yordi added that he is impressed with the reception he has received from the Blackburn players and staff – who mobbed him after his first goal for the club in midweek. He said: "The English are very different, but they are wonderful to me. The football comes naturally and the people are personal and warm."

David Dunn has boosted Blackburn's relegation fight by resuming training following his latest injury scare. Dunn limped out of Monday's victory over Southampton, prompting fears he might have damaged knee ligaments.

However, the England Under-21 midfielder has been given the all-clear to return to training. Dunn should be available for Rovers' next game against Chelsea at Ewood Park on Wednesday.

Andy Cole will also be available after completing his three-match ban and his return will take some of the pressure off Matt Jansen, who is playing even though he needs a hernia operation. Jansen is delaying surgery until Blackburn's Premiership future is secure and is playing with the aid of painkilling injections.

Manchester United's Juan Sebastian Veron and Rangers' Claudio Caniggia have been included in Argentina's squad to face Germany in Stuttgart on 17 April.

Caniggia recently made his international comeback against Wales in Cardiff after a four year absence. Veron may be struggling to take part, however, as he is suffering with an Achilles problem which ruled him out of United's Champions' League quarter-final victory over Deportivo La Coruña.

Dion Dublin has hinted that he would like to make his loan move to Millwall from Aston Villa permanent.

The Millwall manager, Mark McGhee, signed the 32-year-old as a replacement for the injured Richard Sadlier and he was rewarded when Dublin scored on his debut in a 3-0 win over Stockport which set Millwall's play-off push back on track.

The former Manchester United and Cambridge United striker has spent most of this season on the Villa bench, and is currently considering his options. He said: "I have been very impressed by the club and by the training we are doing. I've enjoyed myself and I wouldn't rule out a permanent move. Let's get this season out of the way and then I will decide."

Newcastle have given their defender Andy O'Brien a long-term contract extension which will keep him at St James' Park until 2007.

The Republic of Ireland international has agreed to a new deal after establishing himself as a first-team regular under the Magpies' manager Bobby Robson this season. O'Brien has played 33 games for the Tyneside outfit this season after making the move from Bradford City a year ago for a fee of £1m.

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