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Football: IT'S DUFF LUCK ON DAMIEN AS INJURY JINX STRIKES AGAIN.

Byline: MICHAEL SCULLY

DAMIEN Duff is facing more time out of the Blackburn Rovers line-up after picking up a hamstring injury in the Worthington Cup semi-final defeat at Ewood Park on Wednesday night.

The Dubliner lasted only 34 minutes against Manchester United, and now manager Graeme Souness expects to be without his star winger for at least two games.

Souness said: "That's a double whammy for us. Damien has got another hamstring injury and losing him is frankly worse than losing a semi-final.

"He has been bothered by it all season. We've been watching him in training this week and he's been on fire, now we have lost him again."

Meanwhile, Graham Barrett's proposed move to Preston is almost certainly off - and Preston boss Craig Brown is now set for talks with FC Basle striker George Koumantarakis.

Barrett's wage demands have cooled the interest of the Deepdale club but Brown needs to bring in another forward.

The former Scotland manager has taken Wolves attacker Michael Branch on trial but Brown would prefer to sign South African international Koumantarakis.

"Obviously we have been impressed with Michael but we are waiting on a response from the other big boy Koumantarakis," said Brown.

CAPTION(S):

INJURED: Damien Duff
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 24, 2003
Words:205
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