Blackburn Rovers have been dealt a blow ahead of the new season with the news that Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best has been ruled out for six months with a cruciate knee ligament injury. Best was injured in a friendly match against AEK Athens on Saturday, having scored earlier in the game, and was stretchered off shortly before half-time.

A scan has revealed the extent of the injury in a blow to Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni ahead of the start of the World Cup qualifiers in September.

The striker joined the Championship club from Newcastle United for £3million this summer.

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