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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 15:18 UK

McLeish ready for Benitez absence

Christian Benitez
Summer signing Christian Benitez has hit 10 international goals for Ecuador

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish is resigned to being without Christian Benitez for Saturday's trip to fellow Premier League new boys Burnley.

The striker is back home in Ecuador where his father is recovering well after a road accident.

"To come back for this game then to fly away again for the internationals will be difficult," McLeish told BBC WM.

"It's looking a long shot now, though there was a suggestion he would come back to join us."

Benitez's father suffered a head wound and whiplash in the incident earlier this week.

And the summer signing from Santos Laguna wanted to stay with him until he was better.

The Ecuador international, 23, has made seven Premier League appearances for Blues, and is yet to open his scoring account.

He is required by his country next week for the World Cup qualifying games against Uruguay and Chile.

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