English League 1

Harford leaves role with Dons

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Tue, 11 Jun 2013 12:12:00

Karim Benzema has undergone surgery in France in order to drain fluid from his right knee, Real Madrid have confirmed.

The club said that the 25-year-old France international had a "CAT-guided aspiration", a procedure in which surgeons use a CAT (computer axial tomography) scanner to guide them as they insert a needle and then drain the area.

Benzema played 30 times for Real last season, scoring 11 goals, and remains confident that he will be fit in time for the start of pre-season training next month.

Speaking to Spanish paper Marca, the forward said: "It is a cyst that has been bothering me and it is almost not even an operation.

"I will be in perfect condition when the pre-season starts, we don't have to worry about this topic."

The Primera Division outfit have been confirmed as the fourth team to participate in the season warm-up event and will line up against the Jambos at The Showgrounds on Thursday, July 25.

Hearts will then complete their stay in Northern Ireland with a second match on the Saturday against either hosts Crusaders or a Liverpool XI, who kick-off the tournament on the Wednesday evening.

The Gorgie side have already announced that boss Gary Locke will open his pre-season schedule by taking the team to Fife next month to take on Dunfermline and Raith Rovers.

The Jambos will line up against Scottish Cup-winning former manager Jim Jefferies and his Dunfermline side at East End Park on Saturday, July 13.

Hearts will then take on Raith at Stark's Park on Wednesday July, 17.

Woods, 19, penned his first professional terms at the Greenhous Meadow last summer and went on to make two substitute appearances towards the back end of the season.

He is the third of six Town players offered new deals to have put pen to paper, coming after midfielder Aaron Wildig and striker Tom Bradshaw.

Shrews boss Graham Turner remains in talks with Jon Taylor, Connor Goldson and Jermaine Grandison, who is waiting to undergo a second hip operation of the summer.

The 25-year-old former Aldershot man has made 108 appearances for the club and scored 10 times.

"I'm delighted to extend my contract at Stevenage," he told the club's official website.

"The club has given me a great platform to perform on over the past three years and I look forward to playing a big part in the season ahead."

Charles made 41 appearances last season, scoring once.

The 54-year-old had been in the job just 12 months having been appointed following the retirement of John Gorman after the Milton Keynes club's defeat to Huddersfield in the League One play-off semi-finals in May 2012.

He helped the Dons embark on a run to the FA Cup fifth round last season which included an historic meeting with AFC Wimbledon, victory over Sheffield Wednesday and a 4-0 thrashing of QPR at Loftus Road, but the league campaign was disappointing as the Dons finished four points shy of the play-off places.

A statement on mkdons.com said: "Following discussions with the chairman, Mick Harford has this morning (Tuesday) left his role as assistant manager at Milton Keynes Dons.

"The 54-year-old joined the Dons in May 2012 after spending time working in recruitment and scouting for the Football Association. Mick spent 12 months working alongside Karl Robinson in League 1.

"Mick has today (Tuesday) confirmed his departure and will now seek a new challenge away from MK Dons.

"The club would like to place on record it's thanks to Mick for all of his work over the last 12 months and wishes him the best of luck with his future endeavours."

Harford had spells with 11 clubs as a player including Birmingham, Luton, Derby, Chelsea and Wimbledon.

His managerial career has taken in stints at Nottingham Forest, Rotherham, QPR and Luton.

Dons boss Karl Robinson alluded to Harford's future in March when at a fans forum he said he admired the way that the then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson regularly changed his assistant to keep the backroom staff fresh.

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