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Hleb waits for fitness verdict

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By: Na 23 Feb 2011 10:00:06

Hleb waits for fitness verdict

Birmingham midfielder Alexander Hleb expects to know by lunchtime on Wednesday whether he will be fit to face former club Arsenal in Sunday's Carling Cup final at Wembley.

The on-loan Barcelona player suffered a knee injury during the weekend FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday and left St Andrew's on crutches. But initial fears that Hleb had sustained major ligament damage have proved unfounded after he underwent a scan.

Now Blues are awaiting the verdict from a visit to a specialist in London yesterday to see if Hleb can play some part against the Gunners.

Manager Alex McLeish said: "Alex has been down in London with the doctor to see a specialist and get a final assessment. He got a real clatter on the inside of his knee and we feared the worst, but we're not ruling him out at this moment.

"We're just waiting on another expert opinion and hopefully we'll know by lunchtime on Wednesday. We're not ruling him out. We hope he is available because Alex is experienced and a quality player.

"Alex was limping heavily after the game and we were worried that he had damaged a major ligament, a cruciate or medial ligament.

The scans showed that he has heavy bruising but we don't think there's a lot of damage to the ligaments, if at all."

Striker Cameron Jerome and central defender Martin Jiranek are expected to be fit.

Jiranek missed the win over the Owls with a thigh injury while Jerome was substituted during the 3-0 win with an ankle problem.

McLeish said: "Cameron has not trained as yet but we believe he and Martin will be okay."


PA

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