Knee op for Downing
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Middlesbrough have confirmed that Stewart Downing requires surgery.Middlesbrough have confirmed that Stewart Downing requires surgery which could sideline him until next year.
The news is a massive blow to Boro, who had huge expectations for the England international over the coming months.
Downing, who hurt his knee whilst on duty with The Three Lions in America, underwent an operation in the summer.
However, he needs to go under the knife again on the same knee after he picked up a fresh knock and that means a rehabilitation period of at least three months.
The problem with Downing has seen Boro boss Steve McClaren make a renewed bid for Peter Lovenkrands.
Lovenkrands is having talks with the Teesside club about a move from Rangers and he could seal a pre-deadline move to The Riverside.
McClaren is also now likely to promote exciting prospect Adam Johnson into the first team squad.
The 17-year-old, who made his first team debut last season, is very highly regarded by Boro and he could now be handed a chance to impress due to Downing's absence.