Carlos Tevez has been given permission to fly to Argentina for a four-day break tomorrow amid concerns at Manchester City about the striker being homesick and with Roberto Mancini coming to terms with the news that his leading scorer may miss the derby match against Manchester United.Tevez has been given special dispensation to see his family in Buenos Aires after a scan revealed the injury that forced him out of Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat by Arsenal is worse than first anticipated. The initial diagnosis was a dead leg but further tests have shown he might be out for two weeks, making him a doubt for the home game against Sir Alex Ferguson’s team on 10 November.
Mancini has responded by letting the former United striker return to Argentina on condition that he undertakes a programme of rehabilitation aimed at getting him fit to face his former club. Tevez has already scored seven times this season and his absence would be a serious setback for Mancini even though Mario Balotelli, the £25m signing from Internazionale, is available after missing two months with a knee injury.
The decision to allow Tevez to take control of his own fitness, rather than working with the club’s medical staff, is based on the player missing his family and Mancini’s desire to make sure the man he appointed as captain at the start of the season is settled in his personal life. City were aware of these issues before Roque Santa Cruz told a Spanish radio station yesterday that he believed Tevez was homesick and there is a concerted desire behind the scenes at Eastlands to work through any problems with their most high-profile player. Mancini had already allowed him to spend an extra day with his family after the last international break.
Tevez will miss Saturday’s game at Wolverhampton Wanderers and is expected to stay in Manchester when the squad fly to Poland to play Lech Poznan in the Europa League next week. City then play at West Bromwich Albion three days before the United game and Tevez will target these matches for his comeback.
After leaving United in acrimonious circumstances Tevez played a significant and controversial part in last season’s derby matches, scoring in both legs of the Carling Cup semi-final as well as becoming embroiled in a row with Gary Neville that led to the Football Association issuing a warning to both players.