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By ESPN Staff
May 2, 2008

No operation for Viduka

Newcastle United striker Mark Viduka will not need an operation this summer to solve a niggling Achilles problem.

However, the 32-year-old Australian will have an injection to address the injury within the next week or so, although manager Kevin Keegan will leave the exact timing up to him.

Keegan has revealed the procedure, which should see the frontman return to action in time for the start of pre-season training on July 7, will take place either on Thursday next week, meaning he would miss the final day trip to Everton, or after that game.

The 57-year-old said: 'He doesn't need an operation, he is going to have and injection and we will decide whether it's before the game against Everton, and he will miss that, or after.

'When I say we will decide, that will be the doctor at the club, myself and Mark in particular.

'If he wants to play the last game and he is fit enough to do so, then he will have that choice.

'But it is an injection and he can go away then and by the time he comes back to us, he should be then free of any pain there and ready for pre-season.

'That's what he wants to do. Obviously, every player wants a good pre-season because it is the basis of the season, it's the foundation upon which the season is built for a player.

'We are just looking ahead, but if Mark came and said, 'Look, I would like to play at Everton for x, y, z reason', then it will be after Everton.

'But I am going to give him the option to miss it because that week may just make a difference to him in the seven or eight weeks before he comes back.'

News of Viduka's struggle against the injury emerged yesterday when Australia coach Pim Verbeek confirmed he expects to be without his leading striker for four World Cup qualifiers next month.