x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

De Jong struck down with swine flu

Nigel de Jong has become the latest Manchester City player to be sidelined with swine flu.

Nigel de Jong has become the latest Manchester City player to be sidelined with swine flu. The Dutch midfielder missed the 3-3 draw with Bolton after contracting the H1N1 virus. Craig Bellamy returned for the trip to the Reebok Stadium after recovering from the same illness while Vladimir Weiss, the Slovakian international, has also been affected. Micah Richards, the City full-back, was the first at Eastlands to be struck down in August. Mark Hughes, the City manager, said De Jong was "quite poorly" on Friday, but if he recovers quickly, he could be in contention for a return for Wednesday's test at Tottenham, their rivals for a top four Premier League place. He said: "We are trying to keep a lid on it. Nigel won't be at the club on Monday and we are trying to get past the contagious phase of the virus and if we can do that, he might still be an option for Wednesday." Hughes remained upbeat despite an eighth draw in nine league games at struggling Bolton. He was furious with the referee Mark Clattenburg for allowing an offside goal from Ivan Klasnic for the opener to stand and then sending off Craig Bellamy for two yellow cards. The first, seemingly, was for dissent in disputing the first goal and the second for a dive when Bellamy appeared to be clipped by Paul Robinson. "The decisions were laughable, ridiculous," said Hughes. "The first goal was clearly offside and how the hell the official couldn't see that was beyond me. I thought the officials were in general very poor." akhan@thenational.ae