Manchester City should be sporting an embarrassment of riches throughout their squad, but Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng both picked up major injuries on international duty to put Roberto Mancini's right back situation into less-than-desirable waters. Boateng, 22, injured his knee during the warmups for Germany's 4-0 win over Kazahkstan, and the problem is serious enough to force the defender to undergo surgery, ruling him out for an unknown (although presumably significant) amount of time.
Meanwhile, Micah Richards succumbed to a hamstring tear while playing for the England U-21s to a 4-0 thrashing of Denmark last week, and though initial reports suggested that he'd miss up to a month he's battling to regain full fitness by April 16th for the key FA Cup semifinal match against arch-rivals Manchester United. Richards is quoted in various media outlets as planning to install an oxygen chamber in his home in an effort to increase his recovery time:
I knew straight away what I had done because I heard the dreaded ping. It is a bit sore but I'm hoping it is not too bad.
Some of the other lads have used an oxygen tent to help them recover more quickly from injuries so I am willing to give it a go. I will sleep in the thing if necessary. I want to be available for that game against United. It is going to be a great occasion.
If both Richards and Boateng are unavailable for selection, Mancini will face an interesting selection dilemma as he looks to plot a course to secure at least fourth place in the league as well as mount an attack on the FA Cup. The pair have combined for 49 appearances in all competitions this season, and replacing them won't be trivial for City, despite their huge resources.