Alan Shearer’s career appears to be over after Newcastle named Shay Given as captain until the end of the season.

The 35-year-old striiker who intended to retire at the end of the season, will discover the extent of a knee ligament injury sustained in the 4-1 win at Sunderland after undergoing a second X-ray.

Newcastle caretaker-boss Glenn Roeder said an initial scan had “revealed quite serious medial ligament damage”.

“In the normal scheme of things we would be talking about eight to 12 weeks as the recovery period.

“There is no point trying to predict accurately how long Alan will be out until we have the results of the scan.

“But eight to 12 weeks is the possibility if Alan doesn’t get the result he wants, although he is remaining – as he has always been in his life – an eternal optimist.

“He is staying positive that he will still be able to play some part in what is left of this season, but at the moment we are guessing.

“There’s nothing wrong with being positive. It can’t slow an injury down, and if anything I don’t see why it can’t help in recovery.

“There’s no medical proof of that, but I’m sure if you can stay upbeat and be positive, then it will give you a better chance.”

Shearer said: “Until I sit down with a specialist I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that I will be able to kick a ball before the end of the season.”

“It doesn’t look good from outside when you see me on crutches and with a brace to support the knee, but that’s merely to avoid putting a strain on it.

“It’s a precaution until we know the extent of the injury. I’m overwhelmed by all the messages of good luck. If it’s possible I don’t want to disappoint the fans.”

Shearer scored a total of 379 goals in 733 appearances – in a career comprising spells at Southampton, Blackburn and Newcastle.

He also scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England.

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