City’s (FA) Cup Of Injury Woe
Big-spending Manchester City have been rocked by news that England international full-back Micah Richards will miss their forthcoming FA Cup semi-final against cross-city rivals Manchester United.
There was further bad injury news from the latest round of international matches, when big-money full-back Jerome Boateng was injured playing for Germany at the weekend.
Young Italian striker Mario Balotelli continues to make the headlines for a variety of unfavourable reasons, the latest being a “dart incident” with a City youth team player which has recently come to light.
And this comes at a time when City’s season is threatening to peter out as last season did, with the FA Cup their remaining hope of silverware after exits from both the Europa League and realistic contention for the EPL title.
Richards will miss the April 16th Wembley date with United after picking up a hamstring injury on England Under-21 duty against Denmark last week, a friendly which England won 4-0.
The 22 year-old looks set to be out for four to six weeks. He said: “It is not what I wanted to hear. I felt sick when I was told.”
A hospital scan dashed his initial hopes of a recovery before the semi-final, revealing a grade two tear. Richards added:
“I knew from experience when I did it that it felt like a bad one but I was hoping for the best. Of all the games to miss, a Wembley date with United is the last one any player would choose.”
Fellow 22-year-old Boateng suffered a knee injury in Germany’s 4-0 Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Kazakhstan last Saturday. City said they would assess his injury on his return to see if surgery is required but noted that it was similar to an earlier injury to Balotelli, which did not need an operation.
Balotelli’s latest woes were self-inflicted. He reportedly threw a dart at a City youth team player in a training ground spat, although no-one was hurt and the club have taken no action over the incident.
City host Sunderland this Saturday in the EPL at 3pm. They lie fourth in the EPL, after their 2-0 defeat at Chelsea two Sundays ago saw the West Londoners leapfrog them in the table.
City are four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, having played a game more – the battle for the EPL’s fourth spot, and attendant Champions League qualification, mirroring last season’s, which City lost.
Tags: Manchester City, Micah Richards, Mario Balotelli, EPL