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Knee injury to end Bellamy's Man City season?

Craig Bellamy's season is almost certainly over after Manchester City manager Mark Hughes confirmed the 29-year-old striker is struggling to recover from a persistent knee injury.

Bellamy, who arrived from West Ham United in January for a fee reported to be in the region of £14m, has missed City's last three matches after suffering the setback during the UEFA Cup quarter-final first-leg defeat at Hamburg.

Hughes told the club's website: ''Craig has got to have complete rest for two weeks then he comes back for strength work. Hopefully he might get the last couple of games, but the probability is that he won't.''

Bellamy's prognosis is a blow for Hughes as his side are anxious to claim seventh place and a spot in next season's inaugural Europa League and the Welshman's goal threat could have been vital in achieving that aim.

Bellamy settled quickly at Eastlands following his move from the Hammers, scoring five goals in 10 starts for City before seeing his progress hampered by the injury.

There was better news regarding the fitness of Bulgaria striker Valeri Bojinov, who will play for the reserves on Tuesday night at Middlesbrough after being left out the squad for the victory against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Hughes said: ''He needs more physical work and we're hoping he comes through at Middlesbrough to be available at the weekend.''

Shaun Wright-Phillips is still struggling to recover from the ankle damage that has ruled him out of the last three games while Pablo Zabaleta's hamstring injury is also cause for concern, with Hughes admitting: ''We've probably lost him for a number of games.''

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