Micah Richards could be out for four months after requiring knee surgery

Micah Richards: Manchester City defender is facing lengthy lay-off

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Manchester City defender Micah Richards has had knee surgery after he was injured against Swansea on Saturday and he could be out for up to four months.

The 24-year-old picked up the injury towards the end of City's narrow 1-0 victory, pulling up and holding onto his knee without any other players close by.

He was stretchered from the field while wearing an oxygen mask and the England international ended up having an operation to mend a torn knee cartilage.

The unfortunate Richards had only returned to action at the start of October, after picking up a heel injury while on duty for Team GB at the London Olympics.

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Richards said: "The positive thing is that the injury has been repaired so the knee will be as good as new.

"I have a brace on it and I am using crutches. I can't do anything at all for the next four to six weeks and I am probably looking at 12-16 weeks before I am back in action.

"I knew straight away that it was quite a bad injury. The knee locked and I couldn't straighten it.

"I suppose it could have been even worse and not repairable, so I am being positive. Injuries are part and parcel of the job but, with this coming on top of the other one, I do feel a little hard done to!

"I will be working as hard as I can to get back as quickly as I can and I thank all the fans who have sent their best wishes."

Injury worries for City

The loss of Richards leaves Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini short of options on the right-hand side of his defence in the short term.

Pablo Zabaleta and Maicon are already sidelined with hamstring and foot problems respectively, although both are due to return soon.

Kolo Toure replaced Richards on Saturday, but the Ivory Coast international is not registered in City's Champions League squad.

Richards added: "I felt I was doing OK. We beat Sunderland, West Brom and Swansea, and kept two clean sheets in those three games, so things were going well in the Premier League.

"I am sure the lads will continue that run of form and I will look forward to getting stuck into the title defence as soon as possible when I return.

"Everyone has their opinion about how we have started but the league table looks pretty good."