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Duff to have surgery


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http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/926212

 

Dons midfielder ruled out until 2009

 

Aberdeen midfielder Stuart Duff has been ruled out until 2009 as he faces surgery on his injured knee.

 

The former Dundee United player told Jimmy Calderwood he wanted to take painkillers and continue playing but the Dons manager has decided the player’s health must come first and he has been booked in for surgery.

 

Calderwood said: “Stuart came on for four minutes against Kilmarnock last week and could hardly walk afterwards because he was in such pain.

 

“It is almost certain that he will need an operation to clean up his knee and will be out for six to eight weeks.

 

“He wanted to wait until the end of the season to get the surgery done but that wouldn’t have been fair on him. He needs to get fit as soon as possible and, with most of the squad fit, we can cover his absence.â€

 

Duff will miss a return to Tannadice tomorrow as the Dons attempt to go above Craig Levein’s United in the Scottish Premier League.

 

The Arabs ended their five-match run without a win by defeating the Dons at Pittodrie on September 20 and Calderwood wants to make amends tomorrow.

 

He said: “Dundee United have been on a wonderful run since beating us here, culminating in a great result at Ibrox in midweek. They’ve had a lot of praise but I thought we could have won the derby after dominating the first half.

 

“But we didn’t which added to our horrendous start to the league at Pittodrie. Kilmarnock have been on an impressive run as well while we have been hopeless. But if we win at Tannadice and results elsewhere go in our favour, we could overtake them both.â€

 

The Aberdeen manager has been impressed by the job Levein has done at Tannadice. He said: “I expect Dundee United to be challenging for a European place at the end of the season and I’m sure Craig Levein will believe that Aberdeen will be in contention as well. They will be a big danger to our ambitions. No doubt United will be viewing this game as the chance to go five points ahead of Aberdeen but they know how hard it will be to get the result.â€

 

The New Firm derby is one of Calderwood’s favourite fixtures.

 

He said: “I’m really looking forward to this game because it’s a marvellous occasion and we’ll have more than 4,000 people backing us which is remarkable. We don’t intend to disappoint them.

 

“I know we can play much better but it says a lot for the character of the players that they have turned results around after hitting the bottom of the league.â€

 

Bertrand Bossu and Jamie Smith should return for next week’s game at Hibernian, while Tommy Wright is facing two to three weeks on the sidelines due to an Achilles strain.

 

 

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