Bellamy faces more surgery

Last updated : 19 October 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Welshman has missed the past two games after again reporting soreness in his knee and the club’s medical staff now has to decide whether or not six weeks of rest will be enough for him to recover or whether he needs surgery to rectify the problem.

In the short-term it looks as though Shola Ameobi will partner Alan Shearer, but if one of that pair is injured Sir Bobby will have to turn to Cort or Lomana LuaLua as Michael Chopra will be away on international duty.

"Between now and Christmas it's possible we would have to rely on Cort and LuaLua," Sir Bobby told the Sunday Sun.

"It will be decided in the next few days whether Craig has an operation or something like a six-week rest, and I'll then have to look and see what we've got in the club.

"We have Shola - who I like very much - and we've got Michael Chopra, although we are allowing him to go off to the Under-20 World Cup for a month.

"So Bellamy and Chopra won't be available. But we have LuaLua, who came on the other night against Breda and is desperate to get a chance.

"And Carl Cort is coming back - can he be the player he was? He should, because he's only 24 and is desperate to prove himself.

"So we know we've got those two and Shola, but we also have Kieron Dyer, who can play in any position and certainly alongside a recognised striker."