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Bellamy set to miss remainder of the season

CRAIG BELLAMY is almost certainly out for the rest of the season in a major blow to Mark Hughes' plans for a final push to snatch seventh place and a Europa League spot in the Premier League finale.

Striker Bellamy, who made an immediate impact after arriving from West Ham in the January transfer window, has missed the last three matches after a knee injury recurred in the 3-1 UEFA Cup first-leg defeat at Hamburg.

Manager Hughes is virtually resigned to writing his 29-year-old hit man out of the script until next season. He said: "Craig has got to have complete rest for two weeks then he comes back for strength work. Hopefully he might get the last couple of games, but the probability is that he won't."