Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
John Collins, the Everton playmaker, could be ruled out for two months after being forced to admit defeat in a long-running battle against a toe injury. The Scotland international is booked in for an operation early next week, although he could still play some part in Everton's FA Cup tie with Bristol City tomorrow. "I have required an operation for a few months," Collins said. "I tried to play on with pain but my form has dipped and I am disappointed with that. The specialist said it will be six to eight weeks, which is a long time and something I have not had to cope with in my career." Collins hopes the operation will enable him to return with his best form for the last three months of Everton's season.

Savio, the Brazilian international midfielder, said yesterday he had been fined 1,500,000 pesetas (pounds 6,400) for returning late to Real Madrid after the Christmas break. Savio arrived in Spain on Monday but missed Real Madrid's first training session after the holiday.

Tottenham Hotspur have loaned both the striker Neale Fenn and the midfielder Peter Gain to Lincoln City for a month.

WEDNESDAY'S LATE RESULTS: Scottish Premier League: Dundee Utd 1 Rangers 2; Hearts 1 Dundee 2. Smirnoff Irish League Premier Division: Ballymena 1 Crusaders 2; Portadown 1 Coleraine 2. First Division: Ards 1 Larne 0; Ballyclare 0 Distillery 1; Carrick 2 Limavady Utd 3.

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