Arsenal confirm Keown fracture

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The Independent Football

The Arsenal defender Martin Keown has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks after suffering a fractured leg.

Keown, who will miss England's friendly in the Netherlands next month, sustained the injury after falling awkwardly following a collision with Matt Jansen at Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. He limped off and the club initially believed he had suffered bruising before an X-ray last night revealed he had a hairline fracture of the fibula. An Arsenal spokeswoman confirmed: "Martin has a small crack in one of the bones in his right leg. He could be out for around six weeks."

Arsenal are to defend Patrick Vieira against the French international's fourth Football Association misconduct charge in England. The midfielder appeared to elbow Chelsea's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during the London clubs' Premiership match at Highbury on Boxing Day.

But the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, said: "There wasn't contact... ask Hasselbaink whether Patrick touched him. I think he will support him, but I don't know for sure. But it's surprising that, five weeks later, someone is charged. We will defend him."

Opponents to Arsenal's plans to build a new stadium have issued High Court action against Islington Council after the local authority backed the club's proposals.

The Islington Stadium Communities Alliance have lodged papers at the High Court in an attempt to quash Islington Council's decision to approve Arsenal's plans to build a 60,000-seat replacement for Highbury. ISCA took the action after the council stated it would oppose any delay in the development of a new stadium and associated proposals for the north London site.

However, any action may be made redundant by the Government minister, Stephen Byers, who is deciding whether to call in the plans and order a public inquiry.

An ISCA spokesman, Robert Scott, said: "We believe it is totally unreasonable of Islington Council to be forcing the community into legal action at this stage. The sensible thing to do would be to see what the Secretary of State decides.

"The arguments about the environmental impact statement can be put before him, more fully than before a court, and we believe the most effective way to evaluate these complicated and irregular plans properly is in the independent forum of a public inquiry."

Leicester's Matthew Jones will be out of action for the rest of the year. The Welsh international sustained knee ligament damage during Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

The Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan has been named Nationwide League First Division manager of the month for January. City are six points clear at the top of the table and won all six of their matches in January.

Reading's Alan Pardew won the Second Division award after his side also opened up a six-point lead thanks to their 100 per cent record since the turn of the year. Roddy Collins of Carlisle United took the Third Division prize after steering his struggling side to three wins during the month.

The Birmingham City manager, Steve Bruce, and his Millwall counterpart, Mark McGhee, were charged with misconduct by the FA yesterday after being banished to the stands during a First Division game last month.

Bruce was ejected from the bench after he had angrily protested at the dismissal of the his midfielder Curtis Woodhouse during the 1-1 draw at the New Den on 10 January. McGhee was sent from the dug-out after arguing with fourth official Bill Jordan. The two managers face a fine and touchline ban if found guilty.

Birmingham have completed the signing of the Blackburn Rovers defender Jeff Kenna on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old Charlton Athletic striker Clive Mendonca has been forced to retire from football after losing his two-year fight against a hip injury.