Swine flu hits City

Manchester City have been hit by a swine flu scare.

Vladimir Weiss was ordered to remain at home instead of reporting for Saturday’s memorable Premier League win over Chelsea after it was discovered he had contracted the H1N1 virus.

Now City have also confirmed Craig Bellamy has been suffering from the same problem, while several staff members have also had swabs taken after reporting flu-like symptoms.

“There is a little bit of it creeping into the camp,” City assistant boss Mark Bowen told the Manchester Evening News.

“Players come in every day with sniffles, coughs and colds and the doctor has to determine whether it is the onset of something more serious.

“It is his decision whether they have to be sent home.”

Bellamy is believed to be over the worst, although he is still doubtful for Saturday’s short trip to Bolton as he is battling to recover from a knee injury.

One player who definitely will not be involved at the Reebok Stadium is England defender Wayne Bridge.

The former Chelsea star was carried off at the weekend following a clash with Juliano Belletti.

Manager Mark Hughes initially felt Bridge would be out of action for a couple of weeks.

However, scans have revealed the £12m full-back suffered medial ligament damage, which could sideline him for between four and six weeks.

If that timescale proves correct it will mean Bridge must sit out both legs of City’s Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester United, plus the Blues’ FA Cup third-round tie at Middlesbrough.

In addition, City have eight league games to play before the end of January, although Bowen is hoping to get Bridge back slightly earlier than expected.

“It depends on his recovery but Wayne tells us he is a good healer and he is a good professional, so we are hoping it will be sooner,” he said.

For the Bolton game, Hughes has the option of either using Joleon Lescott at full-back and pairing Kolo Toure with Nedum Onuoha, or veteran Brazilian Sylvinho could come in for his first Premier League start after leaving Barcelona in the summer.

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