Pablo Zabaleta provides welcome boost for injury hit Manchester City
Pablo Zabaleta has eased Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini's defensive injury concerns by declaring himself fit for Saturday's trip to West Ham.
The Barclays Premier League champions feared having no fit specialist right-back after Micah Richards last week joined Zabaleta and Maicon on the injury list.
But Zabaleta, after sitting out three matches with a hamstring injury suffered on international duty, is now ready to return.
The 27-year-old told the club's website, http://www.mcfc.co.uk: "I feel good, I've been training with the team and I think I should be fine to play on Saturday.
"We have some problems in defence at the moment. We've had three full-backs injured over the past few months, so it is great to be back with the team."
Brazil international Maicon has made just two appearances since his August deadline day move from Inter Milan after suffering a foot injury in the Champions League loss at Real Madrid.
Richards missed the start of the season with an ankle problem sustained representing Great Britain at the Olympics and had been in just his fourth game back when injured last weekend.
The 24-year-old required surgery and faces up to 16 weeks on the sidelines after going down in agony clutching his knee late in the 1-0 win over Swansea at the Etihad Stadium.
Zabaleta said: "It's very disappointing for Micah.
"He's been injured from the start of the season, then he came back and was playing well, but now he has this knee injury.
"This is a time when he has to be extra strong. Obviously it is difficult physically, but also mentally it is very tough when you are injured, you have to stay very strong."
Midfielder Javi Garcia is also hoping to prove his fitness for the weekend after four games out with a thigh injury.
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.