Injury casts doubt over Southgate

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The Independent Football

Gareth Southgate has sustained a knee injury in training. The Middlesbrough defender went to hospital for a scan on his knee this afternoon - and although the club claim the problem is not a serious one, the timing could hardly be worse.

Southgate is expected to be part of England's Euro 2004 squad in June, but any prolonged injury absence at this stage of the season could tempt Sven Goran Eriksson to look elsewhere. The results of the scan have yet to be confirmed. Southgate suffered the problem in his first training session since a jaw injury left him unable to eat solid food for several days.

Southgate had an x-ray examination after taking a shot full in the face in England's friendly against Sweden - although he suffered no broken bones, his diet means he has lost weight.

Meanwhile Stuart Parnaby (back) and Franck Queudrue (ankle) are also back in training after missing Saturday's win over Bolton. However, tests revealed that the striker Joseph-Desiré Job will miss two weeks with the hamstring injury which forced him out of the game at Bolton.

The Wolves midfielder Alex Rae admits he could be tempted to move to Rangers in the summer if the Ibrox club make him an offer.

The 34-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, is believed to have been a target for the Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, for some time and, with the Premiership's bottom club looking set for a return to the First Division, it could pave the way for a return to Scotland.

Rae is a self-confessed Rangers fan and the opportunity to play for his boyhood heroes could prove too great to turn down: "I am still a Rangers supporter and if there is something on the table from them then it is obviously something I would have to look at.

"I have been away from Scotland for a long time so there would be a lot to think about but Rangers would be something I would have to consider.

If Rangers did decide to move for the former Sunderland and Millwall player, they could be helped by the fact that Wolves have refused to discuss new contracts with players until they know which division they are playing in. Rae added: "Wolves have said that they want to keep several of us players out of contract in the summer."

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