City defender on course for January return

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Wayne Bridge hopes to be back in action by the start of the new year.

The Manchester City full-back has been sidelined by a knee ligament injury he suffered in the Barclays Premier League victory over Chelsea at the start of the month. Initial estimates were that the England star would be out of action for six weeks, which made him doubtful for both legs of the eagerly-awaited Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester United.

"It is definitely a lot better," he told "I am walking without a brace this week."

He added: "I need to make sure I am strong first. But I will push it as hard as I can to be back and hope to be back at the start of the new year."

In the meantime, veteran Brazilian Sylvinho is set to keep his place for Wednesday's trip to top-four challengers Tottenham.

Craig Bellamy is definitely absent through suspension, while Shaun Wright-Phillips is a major doubt after suffering an ankle injury at Bolton on Saturday.

However, after his recent bout of swine flu, Nigel de Jong was able to so some solo work in the gym and should be available as City look to record only their second league win at White Hart Lane since 1991.

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Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
Premier League

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