Balotelli stands by for a start
- 29 October 2010 11:21
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Roberto Mancini expects to be without his Captain Fantastic Carlos Tevez for the next two matches after the Argentina star limped out of Sunday's game against Arsenal with a thigh injury.
City's manager has allowed Tevez to return to Buenos Aires until next week and has ruled him out of next Thursday's Europa League return against Lech Poznan in Poland as well as tomorrow's game at Wolves.
But the temporary loss of City's talisman and top scorer is eased by the return to fitness of summer signing Mario Balotelli, who recovered from delicate knee surgery to play the final 20 minutes against the Gunners.
Mancini said: "I gave Carlos permission to go home to solve a family problem because I don't think he will be fit for Poznan. But he will probably be available for the game at West Brom (on November 7)."
Emmanuel Adebayor signalled a return to scoring form with a hat-trick against Poznan last week, while former Inter Milan prodigy Balotelli is champing at the bit to make his first start in the Barclays Premier League.
The Blues boss said: "I don't think Mario is 100 per cent but now he needs to play. He had 20 minutes against Arsenal and it's important now that he starts to play the whole game - he's a good player who will be very important for us this season."
Mancini remains unconcerned about Tevez's future. He said: "He's never spoken to me about being homesick, but I think that is normal. When you are in another country for a long time, it's normal to need your country and your family but he has a fantastic job here."
But the manager is ready to accept that another South American striker Roque Santa Cruz, who cannot command a starting place in Mancini's line-up, will be heading out of City when the transfer window opens again in January.
He said: "Rocky is a fantastic man and a good player but he knows the situation here. I'm very sorry for him, he wants to play every game but it's difficult. I hope that he can go and play for another team."
Mancini confirmed that Serbia defender Alex Kolarov, who has been back in training for two weeks, will be on the bench for the Poznan tie and ready to play some part in the game.