Soccer-City's Fernandinho in fitness race for Barcelona clash


Feb 6 (Reuters) - Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho expects to return to action in 15 days after straining a muscle, putting him in doubt for the first leg of his side's Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona.

Initial reports suggested the Brazilian could be out for a month, but the 28-year-old revealed he should recover in half that time.

"Good afternoon, I would like to tell you about my injury and quell rumors. I return to play in 15 days or less," he said on Twitter on Thursday.

The 30 million-pound ($48.9 million) purchase from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk has been ever-present in Manchester City's midfield this season, and his absence forced coach Manuel Pellegrini to play defender Martin Demichelis in the 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea on Monday.

He will miss Saturday's trip to Norwich City, the midweek match against Sunderland and the FA Cup fifth-round clash with Chelsea next Saturday.

He is also a doubt for the first leg of City's Champions League round of 16 match with Barcelona on Feb. 18.

($1 = 0.6133 British pounds) (Reporting By Sam Holden; editing by Josh Reich)

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