Tevez winning fitness race to play in FA Cup Final
Published 23:01 23/04/11 By Simon Mullock - EXCLUSIVE
Carlos Tevez is winning his fight to be fit for the FA Cup Final.
Manchester City’s talismanic striker has been undergoing treatment in Milan from Argentina’s team doctor for the hamstring injury that sidelined him for last week’s semi-final victory over arch-rivals Manchester United.
Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal that Tevez’s recovery is progressing ahead of schedule – and that he is targeting City’s crunch Premier League clash with Tottenham at Eastlands, four days before the Blues face Stoke in their first cup final for 30 years.
Tevez has been working under the guidance of Dr Daniel Matinez, who is in Italy supervising the recovery of Inter Milan defender Walter Samuel from a cruciate ligament injury.
And a source close to the Milan clinic where he’s being treated confirmed: “The doctor is delighted with the progress Carlos is making.
“He is ahead of schedule. He is already running again and although muscle injuries can recur if rehabilitation is not handled correctly, Carlos should be fit for the FA Cup final.
“In fact, Carlos is confident that he will be ready for the Tottenham game, if not before.”
Tevez’s presence in Milan has fuelled rumours that the 27-year-old is bound for Inter in the summer.
A summer exit does look likely but there have been no talks with Inter Milan about a £40million move.
Tevez is unhappy that his commitment to City has been questioned after he failed to return to England for the 1-0 victory over his former club at Wembley.
Wayne Rooney watched from the United bench despite being banned and the absence of club captain Tevez was not well received by some in the corridors of power at Eastlands - especially when it emerged that he had been joined by his teenage girlfriend Brenda Asnicar in Italy.
But the sources close to Tevez insist City boss Roberto Mancini encouraged Tevez to stay in Italy. “Carlos spoke to the manager about his treatment programme.
“Carlos asked if he should be at Wembley for the semi in his role as captain, but Mancini told him that it was more important that he got himself fully fit and healed for the important games coming up.”
Mancini will have to decide whether he picks Tevez for the Wembley showpiece - if it seems likely the player will move on this summer.
Mancini admits that he does not want the speculation over Tevez’s future to become a distraction as he looks to bring an end to City’s 35-year wait for a trophy and deliver a place in the Champions League.
Mancini said: “I don’t know what will happen to Carlos in the summer.
“The only thing that is important at this moment is that he recovers from his injury so he can play in the last games of the season.
“I am not worried. Things can change - teams can change the manager and they can change the players.
“But I don’t think about the future. My focus is on the next six league games and the FA Cup final. That is all.
“For now, I think we should stop talking about Carlos’ future. If we only talk about him then it isn’t fair on him or the rest of the team.
“I don’t want to think about one player - I want to think only about changing the history of this club. For me, that is what is important.
“At the end of the season we will see what will happen with every player.”
Mancini added: “It is clear that Carlos is a very important player for us because he has scored more than 20 goals this season.
“But I also think that we play well as a team. If we play well as a team then we can still win.
“It is important to have a balance in your team to be successful.
“It is not easy to win without Carlos. For me, Carlos, Mario (Balotelli) and Edin (Dzeko) are all fantastic strikers, but Carlos has played in England for a long time now while the others haven’t.
“He has played for City, United and West Ham, while Balotelli and Dzeko are new here so it’s harder for them at the moment
“After one more year, all the new players will improve a lot.”