Operations for Shearer and Seaman


The prospects of Newcastle United winning their first major trophy since 1969 - which have always seemed entwined with Alan Shearer's fitness and form - were placed in jeopardy yesterday when the England striker had an operation on his groin.

Another England player, David Seaman, also went into hospital last night for an exploratory knee operation. Seaman has already missed Arsenal's last three games and sat out England's World Cup defeat by Italy. Arsenal should have a better idea before the weekend how much longer their goalkeeper will be out of their Premiership title challenge.

The most optimistic estimate for Shearer's return is a month, by which time Newcastle's assault on the Premiership and the Uefa Cup could have been derailed. However, this is the third time Shearer has had an operation on the injury in eight months, suggesting a longer lay-off may be necessary for a proper cure.

Even if he emulates his extraordinarily quick recuperation of last autumn, he will miss both legs of the Uefa Cup quarter-final against Monaco and five League matches, including the potentially decisive away matches at Liverpool and Wimbledon.

The worry for England's coach, Glenn Hoddle, is that both Seaman and Shearer could be ruled out of England's friendly match against Mexico at Wembley on 29 March.

Graham Courtney, a Newcastle spokesman, said that Shearer had not been "the Alan Shearer Newcastle fans know and love. He's been struggling with the injury and now he's had an operation to rectify the problem. We look forward to having him back as quickly as possible."

Shearer, who cost Newcastle a world record pounds 15m when they bought him from Blackburn last summer, was out of action for just over a month after surgery in the wake of the 5-0 defeat of Manchester United on 20 October.

He missed England's 2-0 victory in Georgia in a World Cup qualifier and six Newcastle games, only two of which were won, before returning for the 1-1 draw at Chelsea on 23 November. Since then, Shearer has scored 15 goals in 18 games, taking his tally for the season to 23 and reviving Newcastle's title hopes in the process. That operation followed another last May, which at one time threatened his place in the England squad for the European Championship finals. He recovered to play a key role, but the surgery proved to be only a temporary success.

Certainly, the England coach suggested yesterday that all has not been well with his principal striker for some time when he admitted the latest operation had been inevitable. "I've been aware of the problem and there's no doubt that it needed to be dealt with," he said. "Alan has kept me informed of his plans over recent days and Kenny Dalglish, and I want him back as soon as possible."

Shearer played in the 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday which lifted Newcastle to third place, six points adrift of leaders Manchester United with a game in hand. He had a quiet game, however, and his failure to get a goal ended his hopes of scoring against all 19 Premiership opponents this season, a feat for which the bookmakers had offered odds of 500-1 at the start of the season.

Dalglish has Faustino Asprilla to come in and partner Les Ferdinand, but his attacking options have been reduced by the sale of Darren Huckerby to Coventry shortly before Kevin Keegan's departure and that of Paul Kitson to West Ham two weeks ago.

Seaman, who first felt pain in his knee when he slipped while getting to his feet after stretching out on the floor to watch television, played in Arsenal's FA Cup defeat by Leeds three weeks ago despite the pain. It has hardly receded since then and Arsenal today took the decision to send him for an arthroscope examination, in which a microscopic camera is inserted into the damaged area.

More football, page 27

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power