McLeish hopeful on Gardner

Midfielder not expected to be sidelined for too long

Gardner: Ankle problem

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Alex McLeish is optimistic that Craig Gardner will not be sidelined for too long as Birmingham wait for news of his ankle injury.

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The midfielder had to be replaced in the goalless draw against Manchester City last week and played no part in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

But the full extent of the damage is not yet clear as Gardner has had two rounds of checks by specialists.

Blues boss McLeish understands that the problem is not too serious and hopes the 23-year-old will be available again within three weeks.

Cup doubt

"We are still awaiting the results coming from the specialist in London. We thought it might be worse than it actually is," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

"We are hopeful he is only going to be out for two to three weeks, so we will await the report."

Gardner will be looking to recover in time for the Carling Cup quarter-final at home to Aston Villa on 1st December.

McLeish is refusing to rule him out at this stage, saying: "Whether he is out of the cup game, I don't know. I would need to check with our doctor once we have studied the report."