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Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 16:26 UK

Injured Vassell out for 10 weeks

Darius Vassell
Vassell was set to lead City's line on Thursday

Manchester City striker Darius Vassell has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury, manager Mark Hughes has confirmed.

The 28-year-old had appeared set to start City's Uefa Cup clash against Midtjylland on Thursday and Premier League opener at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Vassell joins City's lengthy list of unavailable strikers, with Jo, Benjani Mwaruwari and Valeri Bojinov all out.

Teenagers Daniel Sturridge and Ched Evans could start on Thursday.

"It is likely Darius will not be available for something like 10 weeks," Hughes said.

"He will be in a brace for six weeks and then will need another month to build up his fitness.

"Missing the start of the season is disappointing for him and myself as he has been exceptional in pre-season."

Vassell's injury leaves Hughes with a paucity of options up front.

Record signing Jo is away with Brazil on Olympic duty and although Bojinov has featured in friendlies he is unlikely to be risked having missed last season through injury.

With Benjani also injured, Evans, Sturridge and Ecuadorian teenager Felipe Caicedo are the players most likely to play despite having only two City starts between them.

see also
Man City warned over striker Jo
12 Aug 08 |  Man City
Man City ease fixture congestion
07 Aug 08 |  Man City

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