Football

Hughes expects Toure to be fit

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Mark Hughes has played down the injury scare surrounding Kolo Toure and claimed the Manchester City new-boy should be fit for next Saturday's Premier League opener at Blackburn.

Toure lasted just 18 minutes of Saturday afternoon's 2-1 victory over Celtic at Eastlands after reporting soreness in a hip problem that developed last week.

"He had treatment on a rash at the top of his hip this week and felt quite comfortable, which was why I picked him," said Hughes. "But after about 10 minutes, he said it was bothering him, so we took him off straightaway. I don't anticipate it will be too much of a problem and he should be okay for next week."

Hughes admitted City missed Toure's presence, with Chris Killen taking advantage of the Ivory Coast star's exit to level Gareth Barry's opener.

Little wonder the Blues chief has made getting another new centre-half his priority, although, after confirming there had been no progress made in his efforts to sign Everton's Joleon Lescott, Hughes indicated he might now look at alternative targets.

"We have to make a decision on any player we are pursuing," he said. "If we feel a certain deal has run its course, we will look elsewhere.

"Whether we have reached that stage with Joleon only time will tell.

"Obviously we can do deals right to the end of the transfer window.

"However, we would prefer to do our business as quickly as possible, ideally by the end of this week."

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Gareth Barry
Chelsea
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Joleon Lescott
Everton
Mark Hughes

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