James Milner believes Manchester City will have reason to be thankful if a minor injury for Yaya Toure is the only price to be paid for being forced to play on a pudding of a pitch in Vancouver.
Despite the surface at the DC Stadium passing an afternoon inspection, it soon became apparent it was not fit for purpose. Privately, some connected with City questioned whether the game should have been played although, in the end, the visitors emerged from the 2-1 win largely unscathed.
"It was probably one of the worst pitches we have played on," said the England midfielder. "I am not blaming anyone but it is not ideal in pre-season and probably increased the risk of injury. There were big chunks coming out of the pitch, so turning was difficult."
He added: "You try to put it out of your mind but when it is taking you five steps to turn round, subconsciously you are bound to think about it."
Although Toure will have to be assessed after sustaining a first-half ankle injury, manager Roberto Mancini has already played down fears of a long-term problem for the midfielder, describing the knock as 'not serious'.
And for that, Milner feels, City have cause to breathe a sigh of relief.
He added: "Yaya has got injured and if it is not too bad, maybe we were a bit lucky to get away with it."
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