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Football: Kieron's tears on the Tyne; NEWCASTLE v CHARLTON TONIGHT, KICK-OFF 8PM.

Byline: By SIMON BIRD

KIERON DYER has revealed he feared there would be no end to his injury nightmare.

The England midfielder made just two starts in nine months before his goal-scoring comeback against Southampton last weekend.

Dyer admits he was sent on holiday by the club in November because he "couldn't handle" the frustration of another setback.

He is a doubt for tonight's visit of Charlton to St James' Park as caretaker boss Glenn Roeder treats his return with caution.

Dyer said: "I have been terribly depressed and close to tears many times. It has been hell and seemed never ending, but I have clung to the belief that I'll play regularly again.

"This season has been wrecked, it is a huge chunk out of my career and something I could do nothing about - it's just been a problem on top of a problem.

"The lowest point was after our game against West Brom at the end of October. I went on as a sub and set up a goal and thought I had cracked it. I went in for training on the Monday morning and I felt my hamstrings again. It hit me like a ton on bricks.

"I was just devastated, close to tears. I was as far back as ever.

"I couldn't handle the setbacks. I was told to go away for a few days." Dyer has had persistent hamstring problems, made worse by a hereditary liver complaint that needs medication.

It was the experts at the British Olympic Medical Centre who eventually helped find a cure.

Dyer said: "I stayed for two weeks and we did every test imaginable. They changed my medication.

"Eight cameras filmed me running on a treadmill and that revealed my right leg was at a certain angle when I ran, which meant the muscles in my bum were not working correctly.

"They were so weak my hamstrings were taking all the strain.

"I have exercises to strengthen the muscles in my buttocks. The Newcastle physios Derek Wright and Paul Ferris kept me going through the dark hours."

Roeder, meanwhile, reckons Charlton boss Alan Curbishley should be a leading candidate for the England job.

He said: "The most important thing is the quality of the player and England have got a very good squad at the right age.

"I think they would be pleasantly surprised with an Alan Curbishley, or Sam Allardyce or Steve McClaren."

CAPTION(S):

DYER: Emotional comeback' CURBISHLEY: In the frame for England
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 22, 2006
Words:415
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