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By ESPN Staff

Surgery ends Hleb's Birmingham spell

Alexander Hleb's unhappy spell with Birmingham has come to a premature end with the on-loan Barcelona midfielder requiring knee surgery.

• Blues chief expects integrity to prevail

The former Arsenal man has been dogged by injury problems and suffered his latest setback during the closing stages of last weekend's 2-0 home reversal against Fulham.

It has emerged Hleb suffered ligament damage and he is ruled out of the final game of the season against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Hleb had already made it clear he had no desire to extend his season long loan with Blues and his spell has been marred by outspoken criticism of the team and Alex McLeish's style of play.

The midfielder had previously sustained hamstring and knee setbacks and he was only able to show flashes of the form evident during his spell with the Gunners.

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