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Robinho facing extended Manchester City lay-off
Published : 22 Oct 2009 16:34:00
MANCHESTER (AFP) - Manchester City are set to be without Robinho for at least a further fortnight after the Brazil star suffered a setback in his bid to recover from an ankle injury. City manager Mark Hughes had hoped the striker would be fit for Tuesday's League Cup tie at home to Scunthorpe. But, having already spent two months on the sidelines, it now appears the 25-year-old will not be available until the home English Premier League match against north-west rivals Burnley on November 7. "He's had a little bit of a setback, and the likelihood is it will be another 10 to 14 days," said Hughes. "The area where the stress fracture is hasn't healed as quickly as we anticipated. "He could probably join in with the group, but the fear would be if he got a direct bang on that area there's a chance he may re-break the leg. "So we don't pitch him into those circumstances, and it would be crazy to, so we're going to err on the side of safety. "We've options, so can cope and give 'Robi' the time he needs. It's important we don't put him at risk," the former Manchester United striker added. Hughes has also had to deal with yet more questions about Robinho's future, even though Barcelona said this week they were not planning to bring City's British record 32.5 million pounds signing from Real Madrid back to Spain. "It's a non-story from our point of view. Nothing has changed in respect of Robi. He won't be leaving us, and that's the top and bottom of it." Hughes added: "Our frustration at the moment with Robi's situation is that he is not fit and well and available for selection. That will resolve itself in a couple of weeks, so he'll be back playing, and that's what he wants to do. "He's a big part to play here. I've said on many occasions he has a real role here. "Last year he had an exceptional season in terms of goals and the impact he made in a difficult season for everybody. "We're in better shape now, we're a better team and obviously the team is playing with confidence." City, five points behind leaders Manchester United, hope to have captain Kolo Toure back for Sunday's league match at home to Fulham.