CITY expect to see Emmanuel Osadebe playing again this season.

The winger is starting his recovery from a double broken leg after Sunday’s operation.

Mark Hughes is confident that Osadebe will be back in time to feature – as he ruled out the immediate prospect of rushing in a replacement.

Hughes said: “I’ve spoken to Manny and he’s in good spirits. He’s a very determined young man and given his character, he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

“He’ll have the best care, we’ll look after him and we’ll welcome him back when he’s ready.

“Without a shadow of a doubt (that will be this season), as long as there are no indications, which we hope there won’t be.

“As far as I’m aware, it’s a clean break. It’s not as if it’s a ligament injury and there’s a twist and snap.

“He was obviously devastated at the weekend, like we all were, because he’s waited a long time in his career to get to where he is in terms of the stature of the club. He really wanted to kick on this year.

“That was disappointing for him and everybody. But he’s on the way back and we’ll look forward to welcoming him - the hope is that it will be as soon as possible.”

Hughes believes he has enough cover in the squad and is not planning to go back into the market for now. Alex Gilliead is back in full training and could come back into contention at Barrow this weekend.

Hughes added: “We were keeping our options open until the end of the window.

“If something came along that we felt was important then we’d look at it seriously.

“But I’ve still got good options even though we’re without the services of Manny.

“If I feel over the course of these next couple of games that we’re a little bit short, then I will possibly look at something that maybe presents itself.

“But at this moment in time I’m quite happy enough to go with what we’ve got and see the different combinations.”

Gilliead has not played since the opening pre-season at Bradford (Park Avenue) because of a strain in his lower calf.

“I think he’s had tightness in that area in the past so it’s just about managing it,” said Hughes. “On this occasion it was a little bit more significant, so he had to have some time out.

“He’s raring to go again. He wants to get his season up and running and we’ll see how he progresses this week.

“He’s been out for just over three weeks. But given he’s a very fit guy, arguably the fittest we’ve got in the group, then he’s not going to have lost too much.

“The only thing he’s missed from the pre-season period is match fitness.

“We’ll get him up to speed quite quickly and hopefully he’ll be an option, if not this weekend, then certainly in the coming games.”