The seat behind Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is to remain empty for three months as an injury to Shay Given will force him to sit somewhere else during matches.
The re-occurrence of an old shoulder injury could see Given forced to sit in different places around the City of Manchester stadium until at least May.
The injury is a massive blow to Given, who had secured one of the best seats in the house to watch City’s unlikely assault on the Premier League title.
A club spokesperson said, “Shay is disappointed, obviously. He has become an integral part of that group of players that sit behind Roberto match days, throwing drinks to the player and stuff.”
“It’s also huge blow to City, because when it comes to sitting quietly behind Roberto, there really is nobody better than Shay Given. It’s probably the best £80k a week City have ever spent.”
Shay Given out for three months
Any operation is likely to see Given miss twelve weeks of sitting on the bench, and a decision on whether to go ahead with the surgery will be made in the next day or so.
Former Manchester City physio Jamie Murphy said, “Theoretically, if City were to reach the FA Cup final he could make a miraculous recovery in time to watch it from the bench, but right now that looks unlikely.”
“He’s got a bit of rehabilitation ahead of him, and they certainly won’t rush him back. He won’t be sat there behind Roberto until they’re absolutely confident he can sit comfortably for ninety minutes without any further injury risk.”