Benitez set to miss Clarets tie
Birmingham striker Christian Benitez is unlikely to return to England for the game against Burnley.
Last Updated: 01/10/09 1:33pm
Birmingham striker Christian Benitez is unlikely to return to England for the game against Burnley on Saturday.
The Ecuador international flew home after his father was involved in a serious car accident, but the logistics of travelling home in time for the trip to Turf Moor means it is unlikely that he will play at the weekend.
With Ecuador playing World Cup Qualifiers the following week, manager Alex McLeish does not think the 23-year-old will come back to England, only to return home the next day.
"I spoke to the guy who helped Christian through his deal when he came here," the Blues boss said.
"He said Christian went to see his father in hospital last night (Wednesday) but never had any communication.
"So it looks as if it is going to be difficult to get him back for this weekend given he would then be leaving us on Sunday to go back to Ecuador for World Cup games.
"We understood his father is not in danger and that's the biggest concern. Christian wanted to come back if he felt his dad was OK but he maybe feels he has to be with him at the moment.
"We have plenty of options. We would have liked him to be one of the options but, if it is not to be, we have to deal with it and we have good players who can slot in there."