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Mark Hughes moved quickly to dismiss Kolo Toure's injury as nothing more than a slight knock as the Citizens potentially face a depleted defence for their season opener...

Mark Hughes spoke after his sides 2-1 friendly victory over Celtic on Saturday and touched on early substitute Kolo Toure's exit from the match that came shortly after Gareth Barry's opener.

"Kolo's okay, he had a little tightness in his hip flexor this week, we did some work on it and he thought he was okay to start. After about 15 minutes he felt it, so as a precaution, we took him off. He'll meet up with his international squad, but hopefully they will think it’s a risk to play him in a friendly," he told the clubs' official website.

Hughes had already spoken out earlier in the week against what he views as a series of unnecessary international friendlies that several of his stars are sure to take part in. The Welshman has already had his plea to Maradona to leave Tevez out of the Argentina squad heard, with Hughes hoping to have the Argentine fit for the start of the season.

With Toure potentially struggling for Manchester City's opening match away to Blackburn, the Sky Blues are left with the likes of Richard Dunne, Micah Richards and Tal-Ben Haim as their only choices at the back. Nedum Onuoha missed his second match in a row and Vincent Kompany already is still recovering from surgery on his beleaguered toe.

Meanwhile, Joleen Lescott remains a target for Manchester City but Everton look reluctant to sell before the start of the season.

Will Ashwell, Goal.com

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