Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has flown out to the United States to visit a knee specialist.
Balotelli’s first season in English football has been blighted by a knee problem, with the player having spent several weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery in September.
The 20-year-old Italian finally began to string some appearances together after he returned to action at the end of October, but he has been absent since netting a hat-trick in the 4-0 rout of Aston Villa on December 29.
The Eastlands outfit are now hoping specialist Bill Knowles, based in Vermont, will be able to solve the problem and get former Inter Milan forward Balotelli back in action for the final few months of the Premier League campaign.
Boss Roberto Mancini said: “Mario has gone to Vermont. He's gone out there to work and to improve his knee.
“The surgeon has said he doesn't need an operation. But if he does, it will be a problem for us.
“In these two weeks he must work hard in Vermont. We hope that, when he comes back, he will be ready to play.
“In Vermont, Mario can work quietly without a problem, without the pressure that he has here.”