Isaac Success will fly to Spain today hoping to get the all-clear to return to full training from a trusted club doctor.
The strapping forward has missed the last four games through a combination of a dead leg and a hamstring problem and has only been fit enough to resume light training. Owner Gino Pozzo, who was once based in Barcelona, places a huge amount of faith in Catalan specialist Dr Ramon Cugat, who Success has already been to see once. He is now going for a second time so he can, hopefully, return to full training.
Cugat was the surgeon who saved Joel Ekstrand’s career and he has seen Stefano Okaka, Craig Cathcart and Success this season. He is also hugely trusted by Pep Guardiola and has treated Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany.
Success had been pencilled in to feature against Stoke City but the earliest he will now return to training is tomorrow, meaning Walter Mazzarri will have to decide if three days’ training is enough to put him in contention to face Mark Hughes’ side. A more likely target is the away game at West Bromwich Albion, particularly as Mazzarri has Odion Ighalo, Stefano Okaka and Jerome Sinclair as forward options on the bench. Indeed, it will be interesting to see where Success would fit into Mazzarri’s new one-up-top formation that worked so successfully against Leicester.