Newcastle United midfielder Stephen Ireland, on loan at the club from Aston Villa through the end of the season, has been ruled out for the remainder of the year with an ankle injury. The 24 year old former Republic of Ireland international came to Newcastle in January and has made just two appearances for the club. The injury came in the Magpies' 1-1 draw with Blackpool on April 23rd.
Ireland began the season with Manchester City and came to Aston Villa as part of the deal that sent James Milner to the Eastlands. Ireland started seven games in all competitions for Villa before falling out of favor with boss Gerard Houllier. Ireland was first relegated to the substitute's bench before eventually being left out of the 18 with regularity before moving to Newcastle in the winter.
The former Manchester City player of the year hasn't found his time with the Tyneside club to be much more of a success, battling nagging injuries and being disciplined for a well-publicized incident that saw him posing for photographs at a nightclub in the early morning hours before a game. Ireland did not travel with the the club due to injury, but Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was critical of Ireland for giving supporters of the club the wrong impression.
Ireland hos zero goals and zero assists in 14 appearances in all competitions this season.