Roberto Mancini concerned over Jack Rodwell's fitness record

Rodwell joined for £12m in the summer

Manager Roberto Mancini is hopeful Jack Rodwell will have a successful career at Manchester City despite admitting concern over the midfielder's fitness record.

Rodwell, signed for £12million from Everton in August, has not played since suffering the latest in a series of hamstring injuries on England Under-21 duty in October.

The 22-year-old had hoped to return to action before Christmas but suffered a setback and was ruled out until early in the new year.

The highly-rated Rodwell's time at Goodison Park was also blighted by such injuries and his hopes of playing at Euro 2012 or the London Olympics, after making an England debut in 2011, were dashed by them.

Mancini said: "He is getting better and we hope we can recover him in two or three weeks.

"He needs to start working with the group and he didn't do this until Thursday.

"I worry because when we bought him we thought he was a good player and then he had these problems with hamstrings.

"We hope we can improve this situation for him. He is young and has quality, he has everything to be a good midfielder."

Rodwell, who also had a short spell out with a groin injury in September, has made just two starts and four substitute appearances since arriving at City.

City are hopeful their other long-term absentee Micah Richards, who required surgery after suffering a knee injury in October, will be back in action by the end of February.

Last season's top scorer Sergio Aguero could be out for several weeks following confirmation over the weekend that he tore his hamstring in the New Year's Day win over Stoke.

Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and back-up striker Abdul Razak are also missing for at least a month after joining up with Ivory Coast for the African Nations Cup.

It had been reported midfielder Yaya Toure needed treatment at a clinic for a cough and a fever while at a training camp in Abu Dhabi but his brother Kolo has said he is "back on his feet".

The defender added: "Yaya had a couple of days off. Apart from that, everything is going very well at the training camp and we are happy to be here."

With Aguero sidelined, controversial striker Mario Balotelli staked his case for a return to the starting line-up at Arsenal this weekend with two goals in a surprise appearance for the under-21s.

Balotelli, who was involved in a training ground bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini last week, was hoping to improve his match-fitness in a friendly against Blackburn at Platt Lane.

The 22-year-old missed five games, four of them with a virus, before returning as a substitute in Saturday's FA Cup third-round win over Watford.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor