- Norwegian frontman nursing a knock
- Ruled out of Euro 2024 qualifiers
- Faces race against time to be fit for City
WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old frontman, with 42 goals to his name this season, was forced out of the latest Norway squad after picking up a groin complaint. That news has delivered a serious scare to City, as they prepare to step up quests for Premier League and Champions League titles, with Alf-Inge Haaland revealing that his son has spent time with world-renowned doctor Ramon Cugat – a physician of choice for Pep Guardiola – at the Quironsalud centre in Catalunya.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Haaland senior has told TV2 Sport, with City’s most potent attacking weapon still in Spain: “Manchester City has a partnership with a hospital in Barcelona. He has been there for further checks and treatment. Now, he has been here (in Marbella) for a couple of days with the physio from the club. So he gets good follow-up.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Haaland suffered his latest fitness setback in a FA Cup quarter-final clash with Burnley in which he netted his sixth hat-trick of the 2022-23 campaign. He now faces a race against time to be ready for the resumption of domestic action on April 1. Alf-Inge added on his son’s current situation: “Firstly, I’m not a doctor and secondly, I think it’s touch and go, yes. You can’t just go two weeks without training and then jump right into a fight. There must be a progression there. They can gamble on it, but if he doesn’t get proper training with the team, then he won’t play. It is about how he responds to treatment in the next few days. He needs a lot of care and knuckling down.”
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WHAT NEXT? City will return to Premier League duty with a home date against Liverpool, before then going on to take in a two-legged Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich, a FA Cup semi-final tie with Sheffield United and a meeting with domestic title rivals Arsenal before the end of April.