Ehiogu out for rest of the year
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The former Aston Villa stopper's run in the Boro side was hindered last season when he suffered a punctured lung and broken rib in the New Year's Day defeat at Blackburn Rovers, and he is now set to miss out on more action.
The injury dates back to the final home game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur when he limped out of the game after 11 minutes and subsequent scans failed to identify the problem.
The news will rock Steve McLaren who sees the England international as a vital cog in his defensive machine, and the Riverside boss admitted: "It a big blow for us. Ugo is a huge influence on our side.
"He had scans soon after the Spurs match. Unfortunately, they didn't reveal the full extent of the injury, as can often be the case.
"It was believed he had suffered bone bruising so he has been resting the knee over the summer.
"But when he joined the other lads for his fitness assessment on Thursday, the knee became swollen. We sent him for further scans which this time revealed the rupture."
"But we had a similar setback with Juninho's knee injury last year and we bounced back from that. As we did then, we just have to get on with it. Naturally, we wish Ugo all the best.
"What we want is to see him making a full recovery and that will take time.
"His absence creates an opportunity for others. Things like this can happen and that's exactly why we bought Chris Riggott from Derby in January. It's an opportunity for both Chris and young Andrew Davies to stake their claims."
Together with fellow England star Gareth Southgate, the duo formed one of the tightest and most formidable centre back pairings in the country last term that left the Teesside outfit with one of the best defences in The Premiership.