Manchester City received mixed news regarding defensive injuries on Monday afternoon.
Etihad Stadium boss Roberto Mancini will have to wait on the results of surgery on defender Micah Richards, who injured his knee in the 1-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday evening.
A replacement should be ready, however, when Manchester City travel to West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday for their next fixture, as full-back Pablo Zabaleta is expected to shake off a hamstring injury to feature.
Richards fell to the turf with nobody around him late in the game and looked in great distress – he was stretchered off the pitch and was oxygen administered by medical staff.
Despite the disappointment of losing Richards for such a long period, Mancini will be relieved fears of torn ligaments, which could have ruled him out for the remainder of the season, were allayed.
There could be a recall for out-of-favour Kolo Toure, as he replaced Richards following the injury, if Zabaleta does not make it in time, but the Argentina international is expected to be ready.
Manchester City will now a have a full week’s rest before their next fixture and an exit in the previous round of the Capital One Cup could end up being a blessing in disguise with the current injury woes they are experiencing.