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Saturday 21 October 2017

Nasri upbeat despite eight-week lay-off

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri (r) will miss the next two months due to a knee injury
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri (r) will miss the next two months due to a knee injury

Chris Bascombe

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri will miss the next two months with a medial knee ligament injury.

Nasri was the victim of a heavy tackle by Newcastle's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa during City's 2-0 victory at St James's Park on Sunday, and there were fears the Frenchman would be out for even longer.

Although Nasri will now miss key fixtures against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, the France international is relieved he will not miss the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Nasri will also miss the first leg of City's Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium on February 18, although a predicted absence of two months gives him time to be fit for the return on March 12.

"I suppose it is kind of good news that I will be out around eight weeks," Nasri tweeted.

Mbiwa was shown a yellow card by referee Mike Jones, but City manager Manuel Pellegrini said that the tackle was worthy of a red.

Nasri's father, Abdelhamid, accused the Newcastle player of deliberately trying to injure his son.

Mbiwa and other French players in the Newcastle side, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, made efforts to check the welfare of their compatriot after the match.

Nasri Snr said: "He did it nastily, the boy was beaten first time and did it with the second challenge. It wasn't to try and get the ball back where he hit. It's just gratuitous nastiness. It's so disappointing."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew defended Mbiwa, saying: "He wouldn't have wanted to hurt Nasri. He is not like that and I hope Nasri is okay." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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