Fernandinho has allayed fears he will be out for a month and indicated he could be back in time for Manchester City’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona.
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The midfielder sustained a muscle injury in training on Sunday and missed Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea as a result.
However, the Brazil international has revealed he will only be sidelined for 15 days, meaning he faces a race against time to be fit to face the Spanish champions at the Etihad Stadium on Feb. 18 -- 16 days after he first picked up the problem.
While it was reported in some quarters that he is unlikely to make his comeback in February, Fernandinho said he is optimistic he will be back soon.
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
Fernandinho is certain to sit out the Premier League games against Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday and at home to Sunderland four days later, but will be back in plenty of time before the Capital One Cup final against the Black Cats on March 2. As well as the Barca game, the 28-year-old is also a doubt for the FA Cup fifth-round clash at Stamford Bridge three days earlier.
In Fernandinho’s absence, City manager Manuel Pellegrini pushed defender Martin Demichelis into an emergency defensive-midfield role in the loss to the Blues earlier this week.
The former Malaga player was criticised for his performance but Pellegrini defended his selection by saying that midfielder Javi Garcia was injured, while James Milner and Jack Rodwell, who were both unused substitutes, were not fully fit.
Fernandinho has made 30 appearances for City this season since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer, scoring three goals.