Date: 27th December 2005 at 1:33pm
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Defender Steven Taylor is to undergo shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for up to three months. Taylor aggravated his shoulder injury on his return to action in Boxing Day’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.

The England Under-21 international had been on the pitch just half an hour when he landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge with Fernando Morientes.

Graeme Souness: ‘He will be out for up to three more months. We were hoping to get away with it but it didn’t happen. Our worst fears are that he will be out for 12 weeks, he will need an operation to tighten it (his shoulder) up.’

Taylor: ‘I’m devastated to be honest. I was conscious of the injury right from the start, I think that was natural because there was a fear that the shoulder could pop out again. But I had to test it out at some point. It could have gone three or four games down the line, it could have lasted until the end of the season.

‘It was one of those situations where I didn’t know what was going to happen, and unfortunately it went at Liverpool in the first game back. I will have to have it operated on as soon as possible now, and get back as quickly as I can.

‘I knew as soon as I made the challenge in the air that it had gone again. I felt it go when I jumped up, and when I landed it was really painful. I tried to pop it back in, but it was already strapped up as a precaution and it wouldn’t go back in.’