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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Man City hit by Bellamy lay-off

Craig Bellamy
Wales captain Bellamy has won 55 international caps

Striker Craig Bellamy will be sidelined for three weeks after suffering a knee injury in Manchester City's defeat at West Ham United on Sunday.

The Wales captain tore fibres in a patella tendon and City boss Mark Hughes concedes the "best-case scenario" is two to three weeks out.

"It's not an old injury," said Hughes. It's the patella, he's torn fibres in his knee. He's going to be a big miss."

Forward Robinho will also miss City's match with Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Bellamy has made an instant impression since arriving in a £14m deal from West Ham United in January, scoring four times.

But the 29-year-old hobbled out of City's 1-0 defeat at West Ham and saw a specialist in London on Monday for an assessment of the injury.

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It means Bellamy faces a race against time before Wales' next World Cup qualifying double-header with Finland and Germany.

John Toshack's team play Finland in Cardiff on 28 March before Group Four leaders Germany visit the Millennium Stadium four days later.

But Bellamy, whose career has been plagued by knee injuries and who required career-saving knee reconstruction, is set to miss four crucial games for his club, including a UEFA Cup last-16 tie with Aalborg.

"Since he came to the club he has carried the fight for us," stated Hughes.

"Against a team like Villa you need as many of your top players available as possible."

Robinho, meanwhile, damaged ligaments in his ankle at Upton Park but Hughes is hopeful the Brazilian will return for their European fixture.

Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov is set to continue his return from injury with a place on the substitutes' bench against Villa in the Premier League.



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see also
West Ham 1-0 Man City
01 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Bellamy dismisses supporter row
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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