Date: 13th December 2005 at 7:38pm
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Mario Melchiot will not play again this year after tearing his thigh muscle.

The Dutch right-back sustained the injury just eight minutes into the loss against West Ham, and now looks set to be missing for four to six weeks.

He told his personal website: ‘I am so gutted about it. I do not know exactly how long I will be out but it normally takes four to six weeks.

‘I can’t remember picking up so many small injuries in one season. It’s very difficult to remain cheerful.

‘It’s just typical that I get the injury at a time when the team probably need me more than ever.

‘I knew straight away I had pulled it and there was no way I could continue.

‘When I saw the manager’s face I could see how unhappy he was with it. It’s like he is getting one kick in the teeth after another.’

Whilst Mario hasn’t been in the best of form this season, this is yet another problem Steve Bruce has to contend with. It is a mystery why we keep getting so many injuries season after season, and serious questions must be asked about how we are training.

Unfortunately, this could see ‘Bombscare’ Olivier Tebily continue to deputise in his absence. As regular readers may have ascertained, and as most supporters will no doubt be aware, whilst I feel he has considerable ability, he unfortunately has the concentration of a gnat on acid. Hopefully Damien Johnson will be preferred against Man City.