Carlos Tevez and Matthew Etherington in race to be fit for FA Cup final
Matthew Etherington will be given until the day of the FA Cup final to make Stoke City’s line-up but fellow injury victim Carlos Tévez has been warned by opponents Manchester City that he will play at Wembley only if he appears in his side’s Premier League fixture five days earlier.
Running out of time: Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez Photo: PA
By Sandy Macaskill and Mark Ogden 10:47PM BST 28 Apr 2011
Etherington is facing a week of intensive treatment after tearing his left hamstring in the first half of Tuesday’s Premier League win over Wolves.
Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, insisted that the club would do whatever they could to get the winger ready and said the next seven days would be crucial in determining whether Etherington could feature against City on May 14. “We will give Matty every chance of getting fit for the final, even if that means him having a fitness test at Wembley,” said Pulis.
“But the next seven days are crucial, so we will have a better view then. We will certainly pull out all the stops in an attempt to get him right. He is such an important player to us and it goes without saying that it would be a massive blow if he wasn’t fit, especially after losing Ricardo Fuller and Danny Higginbotham as well over the past few weeks.”
Roberto Mancini, the City manager, has told Tévez he will not be selected for the final unless he banishes all doubts over his fitness ahead of their Premier League clash with Tottenham on May 10. Tévez returned to light training on Tuesday after spending 10 days in Milan receiving treatment on his torn hamstring.
Mancini, who ruled out a summer departure from City following speculation linking him with Juventus, insists that he will not risk his captain and leading goalscorer in the final unless he returns to action against Spurs.
“Carlos is here and has started to run,” Mancini said. “We will do everything for him to recover, but it is difficult to say now whether it is possible for the final or not. It will be possible only if he can play against Tottenham on the Tuesday. It is important that we get him back 100 per cent, not 60 or 70 per cent. To have Carlos at 70 or 60 per cent could be worse for us and for him.
“If we think only of the final and forget the other games it will be a mistake. The next three League games are more important than the final in this moment. If we take some risk because we want to play with Carlos, it is a risk for him and for us and I don’t want this.”
Mancini insists he had no qualms over Tévez being treated by the Argentina national team masseur, rather than City’s medical staff, during his time in Milan. “Every player trusts his own doctor because his doctor is part of the national team. I have respect for this,” Mancini said.
Although Tévez is likely to be sold by City this summer, Mancini insists his own future at the club is not in doubt. “First of all I have to concentrate on getting into Champions League and winning the FA Cup.” Mancini said. “Also, all the hard work has been in the first year and a half to build the basics. I would be very disappointed to leave after the hard work is done.”
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