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Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 13:17 UK

Micah Richards column

Micah Richards

I would love to be at Wembley on Saturday to cheer on my best mate Ishmael Miller, who will be playing for West Brom in their FA Cup semi-final against Portsmouth.

He has got me a ticket for the game but I am set to have treatment on my injured knee in Manchester that morning so I do not think I will be able to make it because of the midday kick-off.

I will definitely be watching on TV though and I have got a good feeling that West Brom can make it to the final.

It is a bit weird seeing them, Barnsley and Cardiff in the last four instead of Premier League teams but it has been that sort of year in the Cup and good luck to them.

On Thursday I went running outside for the first time since my operation. It felt good but my knee is still not as strong as I would like it to be

I have watched Ish play for them a few times this season since he joined West Brom from City and you can see why they have done so well - they play some good football.

I have known Ish since I joined City at the age of 14. We came through the academy together and have been good friends for a long time.

He has been talking a lot in the newspapers this week, about how he is faster than me, but I would like to set the record straight on that.

We have not had a proper race for a while but he never used to get past me or beat me for pace when we played together in training so he cannot be quicker than me.

I would also like to remind him that I have scored at Wembley - for England against Israel in September - and, so far, he hasn't!

Seriously though, I hope he does well. I was disappointed when he left City in January but I can see why he did. It is so difficult for a striker his age, he is 21, to play regularly for a Premier League side.


As many of you will know, I have not played myself since the end of February after having a knee operation but I am making steady progress towards a return.

On Thursday I went running outside for the first time since my operation. It felt good but my knee is still not as strong as I would like it to be.

My routine has been slightly different since I got injured. I get to the training ground at around 10.30am not 10am and rather than meeting the rest of the players I head straight for the physio room for an hour of massage to loosen my knee.

For the past few weeks I have been stuck in the gym after that but from now on I will go outside and do some 'straight-line running'.

I use five cones, placed about 50 yards apart, and increase my speed at each cone to a level where I am comfortable. I am nowhere near my top speed yet but right now it is more about finding a pace I am happy at.

West Brom striker Ishmael Miller
Miller scored a hat-trick for West Brom in the FA Cup quarter-finals

I have also been running around a curve to see how my knee reacts when I move in different directions. Again, I was wary when I first started out but it feels fine.

It is just one of the physios and me out there and it sounds boring - but it isn't.

Getting out on the pitch is better than staying on the treadmill, which has been driving me crazy. At least now I have some scenery and fresh air.

The next step is to bring out a ball and see how far I can kick it without any pain, then gradually pick things up before going back into full training with the rest of the squad.

My fitness is not going to be great so I will need to work on that and maybe play in a few reserve games but I definitely want to return before the end of the season.

It is almost six weeks since my operation, which was the estimated time I would be out, but the physios want me to be 100% before I come back.

Micah Richards was talking to Chris Bevan

see also
West Brom v Portsmouth
03 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
Barnsley v Cardiff
03 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
Kiely focuses on Cup not critics
04 Apr 08 |  West Bromwich Albion
Clement hopes for Wembley place
02 Apr 08 |  West Bromwich Albion
Bristol Rovers 1-5 West Brom
09 Mar 08 |  FA Cup
Miller deal good business for WBA
08 Feb 08 |  West Bromwich Albion
Baggies complete double signing
31 Jan 08 |  West Bromwich Albion
West Brom sign Man City striker
15 Aug 07 |  West Bromwich Albion
Micah Richards column
29 Mar 08 |  Football
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05 Mar 08 |  Football
Richards faces six-week lay-off
28 Feb 08 |  Man City
Reading 1-0 Man City
11 Sep 06 |  Premier League

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