Sven-Goran Eriksson will be without defender Jonathan Woodgate for the key...
Sven-Goran Eriksson looks set to be without defender Jonathan Woodgate for the key EURO 2004 qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul next month...
The former Leeds man missed the double-header with Macedonia and Liechtenstein last month with a stomach problem and it has now emerged that he will undergo surgery on a double hernia this weekend. His club manager, Sir Bobby Robson, expects him to be out of action for "several weeks".
"Jonathan Woodgate has been to see a specialist in Manchester and will have a double hernia operation on Saturday," Robson told reporters after Newcastle's 5-0 UEFA Cup win over NAC Breda.
"We can forget about him for several weeks which is most definitely a blow to us. He played very well on Saturday when he eased his way back into the first team after not having played for a few weeks.
"He is like a Rolls Royce in that he hadn't been playing in the first team but seemed okay when he returned to action. But in training yesterday he felt some pain in the lower regions of his stomach.
"Our physiotherapist examined him and we immediately sent him to Manchester to see a specialist who said he must have an operation this weekend."
Woodgate, 23, joined Newcastle from Leeds in January and is one of the most complete young defenders in the league. However, with Matthew Upson and John Terry emerging as strong contenders for the centre half positions regularly filled by Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand, it is an area in which England seem well equipped.