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Petrov faces lengthy lay off

Manchester City winger Martin Petrov will be out for a significant amount of time after suffering a knee injury in Bulgaria's 0-0 midweek World Cup qualifying draw with Georgia, City boss Mark Hughes said. "He has ligament damage, we're hopeful that the news will be positive but at this time the initial scans don't look very good so there is a real concern that he could be out for a significant time."

Hughes was particular irked that Petrov was selected after seeing only limited action in the past couples for us after a long spell out, and to lose a player of his calibre is a big blow for us.

Interestingly, Petrov was one of the topics covered in last night's web chat (8.04), in respect to how exactly he does come back into the side when the current formation is featuring a more central trio (Robinho, Ireland and Wright-Phillips) behind the striker as opposed to out and out wide men.

No confirmation so far as to the length of time he will be out, but you'd imagine we are talking months as opposed to weeks, something that will likely force Hughes into the transfer market come January for reinforcements in that area given we are not overly blessed with ready replacements, and have a busy schedule coming up.

UPDATE: The Times is reporting he could be out for approximately six months, which would pretty much rule him out for the season. The piece also carries Hughes critical comments about international managers 'compromising' players fitness.