Hughes hopeful over injuries
Man City boss Mark Hughes hopes the 'walking wounded' members of his squad will face Hamburg.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 08/04/09 11:31am
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has his fingers crossed that the 'walking wounded' members of his squad will be fit to face Hamburg in the Uefa Cup.
Competition favourites City fly to Germany on Wednesday ahead of their first-leg meeting with Bundesliga title contenders Hamburg in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
But the Premier League outfit leave with concerns over the fitness of striker Benjani Mwaruwari and influential midfielder Stephen Ireland, while Nigel de Jong is cup-tied after signing from Hamburg in the winter transfer window.
England defender Wayne Bridge is also a doubt and Vincent Kompany has been ruled out after both players were substituted with injuries in the first half of Saturday's domestic defeat at Arsenal.
But Hughes remains hopeful, telling Sky Sports News: "We have got a number of walking wounded at the moment so we are hoping they will be okay.
"We are without Vincent Kompany from the weekend and Nigel de Jong is ineligible.
"Stephen Ireland is a doubt, but we're hoping he will be okay, and Wayne Bridge is another doubt. So hopefully a number of them will come through.
"We're a bit hampered. We will see how we are come match time. We have still got a number of hours before kick-off so hopefully some of the injuries will resolve themselves."
Hughes, though, could welcome Martin Petrov back from a cruciate knee ligament injury after the Bulgaria star made a 45-minute appearance for City's reserves on Monday.
The 30-year-old suffered the injury on international duty in August, but he could be selected at the Hamburg Arena.
"The plan was to give him 45 minutes on Monday night," said Hughes. "He came through that and looked impressive. You forget what quality he can produce and he looked in good nick.
"He was blowing a bit, which is fairly obvious given how long he has been out. But he is an option for us."