Saturday, 22 January 2011

Balotelli sees US specialist

Manchester City have sent Mario Balotelli to an American knee specialist in a bid to solve his injury problem.

The Italy international flew out on Friday to see Vermont-based Bill Knowles, who is renowned for helping the careers of many top athletes.

Balotelli has been out of action since City's 4-0 victory over Villa on 29th December, rendering the striker very short on games after missing nine weeks due to an initial bout of knee surgery in September.

The club hope the 20-year-old will be able to avoid another operation and can refocus himself in the States before returning for the title run-in.

City boss Roberto Mancini is confident that the youngster is in the right hands and can still make an impact this term.
"Mario has gone to Vermont. He's gone out there to work and to improve his knee," Mancini said.

"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.
Despite showing flashes of brilliance during his volatile introduction to English football, Balotelli has been feeling the effects of an injury picked up in his very first game for City, the Europa League tie against Romanian side Timisoara.

"He arrived and he had a problem, so he has never been 100 per cent while he's been here," added Mancini.

"He has improved with games, but for Mario, it's important to start to play regularly, then he can show the supporters he's a good player.

"Can he play against United next month? Yes, maybe. But it's more important that when he comes back he can play in all the games for the rest of the season. I think he can play in the next four weeks."

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