Richards targets early return

Defender set to ease City injury crisis

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 11/03/08 1:47pm

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Richards: Knee operation

Richards: Knee operation

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Micah Richards has given Manchester City a boost by declaring that he intends to be back inside six weeks.

The defender was given the initial prognosis after recently undergoing a knee operation.

However, after making good progress in the past fortnight the England international expects to be back in action ahead of schedule.

The news comes as a welcome relief to City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson who has seen his squad decimated at a crucial stage of the season.

Medical advice

"I had the operation nearly two weeks ago and things are looking good. Hopefully, I could be back even sooner than the six weeks," Richards told the Manchester Evening News.

"The operation was something that couldn't be avoided. I played in the derby at Old Trafford with it hurting and in the second half picked up an ankle knock as well so I was a wreck by the end of the game.

"After the Everton match the knee was swollen like a balloon and I couldn't carry on really. The medical advice was to get it done before the end of the season and that is what I did. It is for the best in the long term.

"I hate missing games, especially at such a crucial time but I will be giving it 100 per cent to be fit as soon as I possibly can. I will be back and I will be back with a bang!"

Big fuss

Richards also revealed that he was delighted to have ended the speculation surrounding his future by signing a new long-term deal at the City of Manchester Stadium at the beginning of February.

"The talk about my contract had become quite annoying to be honest," he revealed.

"It wasn't as though I was in the last year of my old deal. I still had two-and-half years to go and some players only sign for that amount of time.

"There was a big fuss for nothing and now I am glad it is all over, the deal has been signed. There has only ever been one place I wanted to be and that's City."

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