By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Samir Nasri has revealed he required an astonishing 100 stitches in a horrific thigh muscle injury.
The Manchester City winger has not played since October after suffering a rare problem in which his muscle separated from the bone during a routine training session.
He underwent thigh surgery and medics stitched the muscle, bone and tendon back together before setting an expected recovery of four to six months.
There had been fears that the former Arsenal man’s season was over but Nasri has expressed hope that he could be back in training by the end of March and be in contention for a first-team return in the final weeks of the season.
Speaking to the Manchester City website, Nasri revealed that it has probably been the worst injury of his career.
“I broke my fibula during my second year at Arsenal and was out for nearly six months,” he explained. “But with this injury I had to have an operation that resulted in nearly 100 stitches in my thigh.
“My surgeon told me this was a rare injury as the muscle had detached from the bone and the tendon was also 90 per cent detached and had to be stitched back together so it was something that doesn’t happen very often.
“The original estimate by the doctors was that I’d be out for between four to six months and the surgeon told me the same. But I’ve already done two months and I’m targeting the international break in March to be back properly with the squad.”
Nasri, who has played just twice for City this season, recalled how he suffered the injury in a training session after the October international break.
“Everything was going well,then, right at the end I played a one-two with Fernando and the ball was a little bit behind me – we were playing two-touch – and I had the ball ready to shoot but I could see Aleks [Kolarov] coming from behind me.
“I hesitated before I shot and wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. I went for the shot and as soon as I did, I felt my leg going from under me with no challenge and I just screamed as I hit the ball because the pain was so intense and collapsed on the floor.”