Bellamy looks likely to miss remainder of City's season

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The Independent Football

The Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes, has confirmed that striker Craig Bellamy is almost certainly out for the rest of the season because of a knee injury. Bellamy, who arrived from West Ham in January, had missed the last three matches after suffering the setback during the Uefa Cup quarter-final first-leg defeat at Hamburg 13 days ago.

Hughes said: "Craig has got to have complete rest for two weeks, then he comes back for strength work. Hopefully, he might get the last couple of games, but the probability is he won't."

Bellamy's absence is a blow for Hughes as his side are anxious to win the battle for seventh place in the Premier League and claim a spot in the Europa League, which will replace the Uefa Cup next season. The 29-year-old, who had problems with the knee on international duty with Wales last month, settled in quickly at Eastlands, scoring five goals in 10 starts.

There was better news regarding the fitness of the Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov, who is expected to play for the reserves tonight at Middlesbrough after being left out of the squad for the 4-2 league victory against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Hughes said: "He needs more physical work and we're hoping he comes through at Middlesbrough to be available at the weekend," when City visit Everton.

Shaun Wright-Phillips is still struggling to recover from the ankle damage that has ruled him out of the last three games. "He had a bang on the bone and it's still sore but the scan was positive," Hughes said. "Once the swelling in and around the injury has settled then, hopefully, he'll be an option again."

Pablo Zabaleta's hamstring injury is also cause for concern, with Hughes admitting: "We've probably lost him for a number of games."

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