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Newcastle's Shepherd not hopeful about Shearer recovery

By Staff
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LONDON, Apr 18 (Reuters) Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd is not hopeful that record scorer Alan Shearer will regain fitness to play the last three games of his career.

The former England captain, due to retire at the end of the season, suffered a knee ligament injury against Sunderland yesterday.

''It's not very hopeful but you can never say never with Alan Shearer,'' Shepherd told the club's website on Tuesday.

''He's going to have a scan in a couple of days when the swelling goes down and we'll take it from there.'' Shearer, who scored a record 206th goal for Newcastle in yesterday's 4-1 win, had hoped to bow out against champions Chelsea on May 7.

Shepherd, who once controversially mocked Shearer as a ''Mary Poppins'' figure for his cleaner than clean image, praised the striker who joined Newcastle for a then world record transfer of 15 million pounds in 1996.

''He has done his duty for Newcastle and nobody can deny that. He is certainly the best buy Newcastle has made in its history and that has been proved many times,'' said the chairman.

REUTERS AY HT1935

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