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The England defender is out for at least two weeks after picking up a hamstring injury in training leaving Joleon Lescott as Manuel Pellegrini's only fit central defender

By Paul Clennam

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is facing a defensive crisis after Micah Richards picked up an hamstring injury in training on Monday.

The extent of the injury will be clearer following further checks out but the club are optimistic he has not suffered a full tear.

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The 25-year-old could be out of action for up to three weeks but is expected to be sidelined for at least a fortnight.

Richards joins Vincent Kompany on the treatment table after the City captain hobbled off in the 71st minute of his side's 4-0 win over Newcastle on Monday, and is also expected to see him sidelined for two weeks.

Meanwhile, Matija Nastasic only recently returned to training following a pre-season ankle injury and is battling to to be fully fit for the Sunday's trip to face Cardiff City.

City were well aware they could fall short in numbers at the back earlier this summer but failed in their attempts to secure Real Madrid's Pepe.

This leaves Joleon Lescott as Pellegrini's sole fit centre-back heading to Wales, but makeshift defender Javi Garcia played the final 20 minutes against Newcastle alongside Lescott and could fill again at the Cardiff City Stadium.

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