Christian Benitez A Doubt For Birmingham City's Opener At Manchester United

The Ecuadorean forward may not have recovered from injury on time to face the Red Devils...

Birmingham City's record signing Christian Benitez, who moved from Mexican outfit Santos Laguna for a reported club record fee of £9.2 million last month, looks like he will miss the Blues' opening fixture of the Premier League campaign, as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

The Ecuador international is also awaiting UK entry visa clearance, which should be completed within the next ten days, before he can join up with his new team-mates.

"We're just waiting on some red tape from New York City," Blues manager Alex McLeish told the club's official website. "He won't be joining up with us in Austria (for the club's pre-season tour) because he won't be here but he's not fit anyway because he's got a shoulder injury.

"He's about seven weeks into a 12 week rehabilitation that the specialist recommends. He's had it pinned and there's a 12 week recovery period before he goes into full contact training.

"At the moment he's training and doing lots of running so his lungs are good and his legs should be alright - he's just missing the contact stuff.

"We've just got to be patient. We haven't signed Benitez for the first game of the season we've signed him for the full season and we have to make sure he's fit for the whole season.
"It doesn't look good for the first game against Manchester United but we'll see how quickly he heals for the second game."

Benitez netted 31 goals in 58 games in Mexico last season.

Zack Wilson,