Mark Hughes is preparing to take a leap into the unknown with Valeri Bojinov as he sweats on the damage to Craig Bellamy's knee.
The Manchester City boss is due to receive the results of scans on the injury Bellamy suffered at West Ham on Sunday and is crossing his fingers the results are not bad, but Hughes already knows Bellamy will miss Wednesday's encounter with Champions League-chasing Aston Villa, along with record signing Robinho, who has suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury.
"At the moment Valeri is still an unknown quantity for everybody," said Hughes. "We are delighted that he is back but we can't place too much pressure on him."
He added: "He was an outstanding teenager and people paid a lot of money for him because they recognised the ability he had.
"Unfortunately his career has hit the buffers because of injuries.
"We don't know if he can play his natural game in the Premier League because he has never completed a game here."
Hughes may find he does not have too much choice about whether to plunge Bojinov in at the deep end.
The Welshman's only other strikers are Darius Vassell and Felipe Caicedo, neither of whom has looked particularly impressive this season.
Certainly, if Bojinov could recapture the form which made him the youngest continental player to move to Serie A when he left his native Bulgaria for Lecce before his 16th birthday, he would be Hughes' best option by far.
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