Manchester City full-back Jerome Boateng could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Boateng is due to undergo surgery on a knee injury sustained during the warm-up for Germany’s friendly match against Australia at the weekend, and assistant manager Hansi Flick has confirmed the full-back has returned to Manchester.
The 22-year-old is now facing against time to be fit for the run-in, with City set for an FA Cup semi-final showdown with Manchester United and a fight to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
Meanwhile, Micah Richards is determined to hand manager Roberto Mancini a boost by returning in time for the Wembley encounter with United.
The defender, who suffered a hamstring injury during last week’s appearance for England U21s, told City’s website: “I will do anything and everything to be ready for that game.
“I knew straight away what I had done because I heard the dreaded ping. It is a bit sore but I'm hoping it is not too bad.
“Some of the other lads have used an oxygen tent to help them recover more quickly from injuries so I am willing to give it a go.
“I will sleep in the thing if necessary. I want to be available for that game against United. It is going to be a great occasion.”