Fernandinho 'likely to miss Barca clash'
Manuel Pellegrini has said it will be "difficult" for Fernandinho to be fit for Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Barcelona and that although Sergio Aguero will definitely be out he expects Samir Nasri to be available.
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City manager Pellegrini stressed there was no chance that top scorer Aguero would recover from a hamstring strain in time to face the Spanish champions at the Etihad Stadium on Feb. 18.
"He is working with the physio," he added. "He has started running, but he will not be ready for Barcelona."
Midfielder Fernandinho sustained a muscle strain in training on Sunday and sat out Monday's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Although the Brazilian tweeted on Thursday that he was optimistic he would be back within 15 days, Pellegrini said he would be surprised if the 28-year-old featured in the first leg of the last-16 tie.
Good afternoon, I would like to tell you about my injury and quell rumors. I return to play in 15 days or less!— Fernandinho (@fernaoficial) February 6, 2014
"It is difficult," he said. "We will see in the next week. Fernandinho is working with the physio. Maybe he will be at least 15 days more."
France international Nasri sustained a knee injury in January but could make his comeback in the FA Cup tie against Chelsea on Feb. 15.
Pellegrini added: "Samir is working well. Maybe in the middle of the week he will be working as normal with the squad. Javi Garcia we hope will be same as Samir Nasri. He will not be fit for Wednesday [against Sunderland], but maybe for Saturday."
But he downplayed speculation that Nasri, who joined from Arsenal in 2011, was about to extend his contract with City.
"At this moment, it is not our first concern," he said. "Samir is a very good player and he is doing a very good season with us. We will see what happens in the future."
Pellegrini also revealed that midfielder James Milner, an unused substitute against Chelsea when the manager claimed he was not fully fit, would be available for Saturday's trip to Norwich.
He said: "Milner is in the squad. Edin Dzeko has a problem in his ankle, but he is in the list."