Behrami has to wait

Gianfranco Zola is hoping Valon Behrami will be back sooner rather than later after the midfielder suffered an injury to his left knee in Sunday's win against Manchester City.

The midfielder was taken to hospital in an ambulance after being carried off on a stretcher just before half-time having had his leg give way underneath him as he went for the ball. Clearly in pain and needing oxygen, Behrami was given a standing ovation by the sold-out crowd as he was carried off with his team-mates also showing him their support.

Having been scanned immediately after arriving at hospital, the 23-year-old Swiss international returned to the Boleyn Ground about an hour after the final whistle. There was some initial positive news with the results of the MRI scan confirming no fracture or break. Further tests will be required to assess the extent of the injury in the next few days once the swelling has subsided.

Zola paid tribute to the midfielder's all-action style and his commitment to the cause. "Hopefully it is not going to be too bad as the boy is a really important player for us - on the pitch and off pitch as well. I think his studs got caught and he fell on his knee. He was in pain so he needed some oxygen."

Behrami would have missed Wednesday's trip to Wigan Athletic anyway with suspension but the club's medical staff will know early in the week how long he will be absent with the next game after this week due to be the visit of West Bromwich Albion on 16 March. "Hopefully we are going to have him back soon but it is too early for us to assess him right now," added Zola.