Birmingham receive injury boost and blues

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Football News

Birmingham are hopeful striker Nikola Zigic will return to action before the end of the season, but have ruled out any comeback for James McFadden.

Zigic has been troubled by groin and hip problems for the past two months since helping City to Carling Cup glory with the opening goal against Arsenal at Wembley. Blues boss Alex McLeish is keeping his fingers crossed a different course of treatment will work, although Zigic will not be available for Saturday's clash at Newcastle.

McLeish said: "We are hoping he will make one of the games before the end of the season. We've tried to do something different treatment-wise with him."


He added: "He has seen a chiropractor (for manipulative work). Although he has got a hip problem, there are connections to other muscle groups and it includes his back. If we can get him back it will be a boost because he was at the top of his game when he started to get problems."

McFadden has been sidelined since late August with cruciate ligament damage and will not be rushed back into action despite making good progress.

McLeish said: "He is not going to make the end of this season. He has missed the whole season virtually after playing in the Liverpool game in August. That is unfortunate for us but more unfortunate for the player because for me he was looking tremendous with his performance against Liverpool.

"But he will be back for the start of next season."

McLeish also confirmed on-loan winger David Bentley will be in contention to face Newcastle. Birmingham will take no action despite Bentley breaching a club rule by leaving St Andrew's after being left out of the squad to face Wolves on Sunday.

Bentley drove away from the ground before kick-off and did not see his team-mates fight out a 1-1 draw.

McLeish said: "I spoke to him and told him he broke a club rule. I understood his disappointment. He broke a club rule, he didn't realise the rule, so we won't be taking any action against David. They have to stay around in case there is an injury in the warm-up. Everything is fine. There is no falling out with David. He is available for Saturday."

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James McFadden
Nikola Zigic
Premier League

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