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Back surgery for All Whites defender Smith

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/09/2016

Ipswich Town's New Zealand defender Tommy Smith could be sidelined for the rest of 2016 after being told to undergo a back operation.

The former All Whites captain has a disc problem which kept him out of the latest round in the second-tier English Championship.

Smith, who has played 257 games for Ipswich, will take up to three months to recuperate, manager Mick McCarthy says.

"We're going to miss Tom. He's been excellent in the games he's played so it's sad for him," McCarthy told the BBC.

The 26-year-old was part of New Zealand's 2010 World Cup campaign but his international future appears bleak under current All Whites coach Anthony Hudson.

Hudson says he won't consider Smith for the foreseeable future because of a continued pattern of making himself unavailable for New Zealand games.

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