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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma
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By ESPN Staff

Head injury ends Pogatetz's season

Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz has been warned against returning to full training for three months for fear of risking his eyesight.

Pogatetz broke his nose and cheekbone in an accidental clash of heads with Basle's Mladen Petric during the first leg of Boro's UEFA Cup quarter-final.

The left-back last week underwent successful surgery to have the fractures reset, with consultant Dr Douglas Bryan declaring himself 'delighted' with the Austrian's progress.

However, Pogatetz has been ordered to take no physical exercise for a month and to stay away from full football training for three months.

'It is anticipated he will make a full recovery and be back with his team-mates for pre-season training,' said Boro's head physio Grant Downie.

'The only disappointing thing for Manny is he won't be able to play football, and he was desperate to get back involved.

'But another blow to his face would risk severe trauma and a potentially eyesight-threatening injury.'

To add to his woes, Pogatetz travels to Munich on April 24 for surgery to cure a hernia problem.