Mark Hughes fears that he will be without Martin Petrov for a significant amount of time.
The winger was substituted at half-time while playing for Bulgaria on Wednesday night with a knee problem and the initial prognosis after he returned to Carrington yesterday is not good.
Mark says, “He has ligament damage, we’re hopeful that the news will be positive but at this time the initial scans don’t look very good so there is a real concern that he could be out for a significant time.”
Hamstring and knee problems have meant that the 29-year-old has only made two short substitute appearances for City since the end of August, and Hughes is rueful when looking at the risks when players go away on international duty.
He continues, “International managers have a 10 day period where they want to win two games, so they will throw all their players at it to achieve that. The consequences from the player’s point of view are not really taken into consideration.
“We have an issue with Martin Petrov, who has an injury that we will have assessed over the weekend. He will see a couple of more specialists but the view is that it is a significant injury and he could be out for quite some time.
“He had only had 10 minutes in one game and 20 minutes in another prior to then playing 90 minutes for his country. It’s a big ask for these players, and they are at risk if they have not had the required amount of time before going away to an international. Our problem is that we have to allow them to go.”
However with Monday’s game at Newcastle looming, there is better news on Robinho, who was stretchered off during Brazil’s goalless draw in Rio in midweek.
“We are still waiting for definite news on it, but we are taking the view that we have heard nothing from Brazil’s medical department so we will make the assumption that he is fit and well.
“I have had a look at the tape of the incident where he got the injury, and looking at the pictures it does not look like a significant injury. It was just a clash so we will expect him to be fit and well when he returns.”
The resumption of league duties on Monday should also see Micah Richards line up for the Blues, the defender dropped out of the England Under 21 squad but according to the Manager his slight injury concern has cleared up.
“He had a lot of fluid around the knee after the Liverpool game, there was no way he could have played at that point. He’s had a couple of training sessions with us, the fluid has dispersed now and it’s settled down. He’s had no bad reactions and were are positive on Micah,” he concludes.