Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is facing at least another month on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Former Inter Milan youngster Balotelli, who cost City a reported £24m in the summer, has struggled to make an impact since arriving at Eastlands due to a string of injuries.
The 20-year-old was injured while making his debut for the club last August and was forced to undergo surgery that sidelined him for a lengthy spell.
And now Balotelli, who has not played since netting a hat-trick against Aston Villa at the end of December, has been ordered by City’s medical staff to rest for another month after suffering a reoccurrence of the injury.
Boss Roberto Mancini said: “Mario's knee is not good. I don't know (about surgery) at this moment but he must rest for three to four weeks.
“He will have rest and treatment and then he will start (training) again and hopefully everything will be OK.
“But it is the same knee and I am worried because it is strange that he had an operation and now, after two months back, he has another problem with it.
“I am worried because I never expected him to have to rest for another four weeks, especially at such an important time in the season when we must play so many important games.”