Season over for Albion's Gera

BY foxsports • January 8, 2013

Hearts have confirmed that they will lodge an appeal against the suspension handed to Ryan Stevenson.

The striker was offered a two-match ban by the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer following his challenge on Hibernian's James McPake during the goalless Edinburgh derby.

Referee Willie Collum took no action against Stevenson for the tackle, but the SFA compliance team decided to step in after studying video of the incident.

Hibs captain McPake claimed after the game that Stevenson should have been sent off for the two-footed tackle that left him with a gash on his leg.

He said: "At the time I knew Ryan's challenge was a bad one. When your shin-guard moves to the side of your leg you know it's not been a great tackle.

"I have watched it again and it's still a bad challenge. He deserved to be sent off for it."

Stevenson had described his tackle as hard but "fair", but Hibs boss Pat Fenlon described it as "shocking".

The appeal hearing will take place on Thursday.

Gera injured his left knee during Saturday's FA Cup tie at QPR and scans have shown the Hungary international has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

The 33-year-old sustained a similar injury in November 2011 which kept him out for the remainder of last season.

Gera is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his knee next week, with the

usual rehab time for this injury being six to nine months.

Baggies head coach Steve Clarke has backed former Fulham player Gera to recover from this latest blow.

He said: "I'm devastated for Zoltan. He's a terrific guy and professional and

I want to thank him for his contribution this season. It has been invaluable.

"He'll now get our full support during the rehab process.

"Zoltan has already proven he can come back from this injury once and produce at the highest level, and I have no doubts he will do so again.''

Gera has played a major part in Albion's fine form during the opening half of

the season, which has seen them sustain a spot in the top half of the Premier League table.

He has netted four goals and also returned to international action with Hungary.

Clarke must now decide whether to look to strengthen his decimated midfield

department during the January window.

Youssouf Mulumbu is on African Nations Cup duty, Claudio Yacob is sidelined

with a hamstring injury and Graham Dorrans wants to leave the Baggies.


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