Manchester City defender Micah Richards is hopeful he can regain full fitness is time for the Wigan Athletic match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
“I felt a bit of tightness in the hamstring and it is not something I want to take any chances with,” he told City’s official website. “I missed some games last season with a similar problem and thought it best to be as cautious as possible."
The 23-year-old, who recently signed a new four-year deal with the club he has been with since 2001, was forced to withdraw from the England squad to face Bulgaria and Wales due to a hamstring complaint.
However, Richards – who has been mostly deployed at right-back by Blues manager Roberto Mancini – is confident he will be ready to start the game at the weekend.
“I have had the injury looked at and I am confident I will be available for the Wigan game at the weekend," said Richards. “No-one wants to miss a minute of the season after the start we have had. It is only three games and we are not getting carried away. Our feet are firmly on the ground but we want to keep going. We have played some magical stuff so far.”
Richards is not the only defender vying for a place in the starting line-up as Kolo Toure is back for the after finishing a six-month ban for failing a drugs test.
“Kolo looks fresh and in the kind of form that made him such an awesome central defender when Arsenal were at the top of their game," said Richards of his teammate. “Training has gone to another level this season. There is such competition for places and we all want to be part of the team that hopefully builds on the FA Cup success.”