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Injury could scupper Downing's Middlesbrough exit

Stewart Downing's chances of jumping off the sinking ship that is Middlesbrough Football Club look to have been scuppered after the England winger found out that the injury he picked up in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend is more serious than previously thought.

Downing limped off following a collision with Villa midfielder Stilian Petrov and scans have revealed that the 24-year-old damaged his foot and could be out of action for up to six months. The news looks to have put the kibosh on the possibility of any summer move to another club.

The winger has long been linked with a transfer to Tottenham but Liverpool, Everton and Villa are all believed to be interested in the £15m rated player. "It was an accident and no one likes to see players carried off, especially a young talent fighting to help Middlesbrough stay up. I hope it's not too serious," Downing told the Guardian. "My boot landed flush on top of his foot, I caught him in full stride but it was accidental."

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