Petrov puts back his return after knee injury halts fine run of form

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The Independent Football

Manchester City winger Martin Petrov has already ruled himself out of Saturday's Premier League encounter with Hull.

After finding himself on the City fringes earlier in the campaign, Petrov exploded into life after being given his chance thanks to a combination of Robinho's ankle injury and Emmanuel Adebayor's suspension for stamping on Robin van Persie.

The Bulgarian performed so well, scoring against both West Ham and Wigan, he collected the City player of the month award for October.

However, his run of excellent displays was brought to an end by a knee injury that he picked up on international duty with Bulgaria.

And Petrov confirmed there will be no immediate return, with even a place on the bench for next Wednesday's Carling Cup tie against Arsenal in severe doubt.

"I am feeling better but I don't think I'll make it this week," he said. "I am hoping that I can start training again at the start of next week." Even with Petrov missing, City should be able to end a run of six successive Premier League draws when they face Hull, especially as record signing Robinho is set to be on the bench after an absence with a stress fracture of his ankle which stretches back three months.

* Tottenham Hotspur executive director Paul Barber is set to leave the club's board next year to become chief executive at new Major League Soccer franchise Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Canadian-based Whitecaps play in the United Soccer Leagues First Division but are set to join the MLS in 2011, with Barber joining them next year after working on Spurs' shirt deal and new stadium sponsorship – which relates to the redevelopment of White Hart Lane – until the end of February.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: "Paul will take up his new position in the spring of 2010. He will remain in his role of executive director progressing our new shirt sponsor and stadium naming rights discussions until the end of February next year. After this time, Paul will become a non-executive director, helping to provide a smooth transition."