Manchester City have been dealt another blow with the news veteran midfielder Dietmar Hamann has been ruled out for up to three months with a toe injury.
The former Germany star suffered the injury in training yesterday and is now travelling to Switzerland to see a specialist for the exact diagnosis.
Manager Mark Hughes, who is already without long-term injury victims Michael Johnson and Martin Petrov and has Stephen Ireland suspended for Saturday’s encounter with Wigan, is fearing the worst.
“Didi kicked a ball in training yesterday with the end of a toe, and unfortunately it looks like he may have ruptured a tendon,” Hughes told www.mcfc.co.uk.
“He will go over to Zurich today to see a surgeon that he has seen with a similar injury before. The feeling is that it is the same thing that has happened before.
“The best case scenario is that it will be nine weeks, but it could be 12.
“Obviously it is a blow for Didi but we are a bit light in midfield areas so we could have done without this.”
Hamann has made 18 appearances for the Blues this season and, with Ireland missing, would have been in contention to face Steve Bruce’s men.
It might force Hughes to once again approach West Ham about Scott Parker, although the feeling has been City stood more chance of agreeing a deal for Craig Bellamy.
So far, despite the vast resources at their disposal, City have been unable to tie up any transfers, other than that of Wayne Bridge, whose £10m arrival from Chelsea was confirmed 11 days ago.
There is however, some optimism that a Blackburn board meeting later today might give a green light to the Blues’ approach for Roque Santa Cruz.
The South American has made little secret of his desire to link up with Hughes again and with Rovers boss Sam Allardyce needing funds to strengthen a squad that has slipped into the bottom three, the transfer makes sense.
City are determined not to be held to ransom but given the circumstances, they may be advised to make an offer that would ’blow us out of the water’ as Allardyce suggested.