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Nov 17, 2008

Barton out for up to eight weeks

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton will be sidelined for up to eight weeks after damaging knee ligaments in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic.

Barton limped off the pitch following a challenge with Lee Cattermole just 17 minutes into the Premier League game and left St James' Park on crutches.

The 26-year-old underwent a series of scans on Sunday and the results revealed he had suffered a slight tear to his right medial ligament.

A club spokesman said: "After further assessment of the scans... he has damage to his right medial ligament and will be out for eight weeks.''

Barton, who absolved Wigan's Cattermole of any blame, was philosophical as he prepared for another enforced lay-off.

He said: "I am not blaming Lee Cattermole in any way for this injury. It was a 50-50 ball and we both went for it, and these things happen.

"Obviously, it's disappointing and frustrating, and my sole intention is to knuckle down and bounce back and get fit again to help the Newcastle United cause."

Barton joined Newcastle for £5.8 million from Manchester City last summer and has endured a much interrupted career on Tyneside.

A fractured metatarsal delayed his competitive debut, and then he spent time in jail after serving 74 days of a six-month sentence for assault and affray in Liverpool city centre.

Upon his release the Football Association handed Barton a 12-game ban by, six of them suspended, for a training ground incident involving then City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

Barton, who won his sole England cap against Spain in February 2007, returned to action as a substitute in the derby defeat at Sunderland on October 25, when he has greeted by insults and a few objects thrown form the crowd, and made his first start of the campaign three days later in the 2-1 home win over West Bromwich Albion.

He has started on three games this season for Newcastle, appearing in six, and will now be out of action until next year.

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