Football

Hughes boosted by Petrov return

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Martin Petrov could return for Manchester City in Thursday's UEFA Cup quarter-final with Hamburg.

The Bulgarian has been missing since August after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on international duty but came through a 45-minute appearance at Newcastle on Monday without a problem and will be included in Mark Hughes' squad.

"The plan was to give him 45 minutes on Monday night," said Hughes. "He came through that and looked impressive. You forget what quality he can produce and he looked in good nick. He was blowing a bit, which is fairly obvious given how long he has been out. But he is an option for us."

Wayne Bridge, Benjani Mwaruwari and Stephen Ireland will all travel to Germany, although Ireland seems highly unlikely to figure after sustaining a freak ankle injury in training last week.

However, at least having Petrov back offers Hughes another alternative in attack.

"When I came in as manager, the fact that Martin was available to me was a big plus," said Hughes.

"I had watched him from afar the year before and saw the quality he could produce. The opportunity to work with him was something I was looking forward to.

"Unfortunately we lost him very quickly, which was a big blow to us.

"When you see what he can produce you can see what we have lacked on occasion this season."

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Topics:
Europa League
European News
Benjani Mwaruwari
Football
Martin Petrov
Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Mark Hughes

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