Bates suffers cruciate heartache
Middlesbrough captain Matthew Bates has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury for the fifth time in his career.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey
Last Updated: 29/03/12 10:24am
Middlesbrough captain Matthew Bates has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury for the fifth time in his career, Sky Sports understands.
The 25-year-old central defender has battled back from four separate cruciate injuries, suffered in both knees.
Now after hobbling off against Ipswich on Tuesday, Bates has learnt that he has suffered the heartbreak of the same injury again.
Bates's injury woes have meant he has played just over 100 games for Boro, but he had not suffered any adverse reaction following his surgery in 2009.
But now after two full seasons problem free, he looks set for another minimum of six-months on the sidelines, although further scans will be required to assess the injury.
He is likely to undergo surgery in April but that would rule him out for the start of the new season.
A further blow to Bates is that his current deal at Boro is due to expire at the end of the season and he was attracting a great deal of interest from the Premier League.
Swansea City failed to land him in August and January and were set to make a renewed bid, but any move will now have to be reviewed.
Boro have already recalled Stephen McManus from his loan spell at Bristol City to cover for the injury.