Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JA­SON MEL­LOR

MID­DLES­BROUGH in­sist they will stand by crocked skip­per Matthew Bates.

The Boro cap­tain is set to be out for at least six months af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery on a se­ri­ous knee lig­a­ment in­jury for the FIFTH time in six years.

The 25-year-old is out of con­tract in the sum­mer, which means his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion will go on be­yond the end of his

cur­rent £15,000-a-week deal. Bates faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture af­ter his in­jury jinx struck again when he fell awk­wardly in last month’s Cham­pi­onship clash with Ip­swich.

But he will re­ceive 100 per cent back­ing from Boro.

Boss Tony Mowbray said: “The foot­ball club will be there to sup­ply Matthew with all the fa­cil­i­ties, med­i­cal sup­port and en­cour­age­ment that he is go­ing to need.

“Be­yond that, when he’s fit, we have de­ci­sions to make.

“It’s ob­vi­ously a bad in­jury, but Matthew has been over the course be­fore, he knows what he has to do and he knows what’s re­quired.

“We wish him well in the bat­tle to get him­self fit again. The club will sup­port him in ev­ery way that we can.”


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