City chief not bitter towards Haller over Zimmermann career-ending injury scare

PUBLISHED: 06:05 14 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:04 14 September 2019

Christoph Zimmermann is out until the New Year after a foot injury at West Ham Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Christoph Zimmermann is out until the New Year after a foot injury at West Ham Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Christoph Zimmermann’s career could have been ended by a lunging challenge from West Ham’s Sebastien Haller - but Daniel Farke is not one to bear a grudge.

Zimmermann is expected to be out until January after his first Premier League appearance was cut short by a tackle from Haller that went unpunished at the London Stadium.

The French striker opened the scoring minutes later, but Farke revealed on Friday there were bigger repercussions.

Zimmermann is one of seven senior players sidelined for Saturday's visit of Pep Guardiola's star-studded Manchester City squad to Carrow Road.

"I don't think Haller tried to injure Christoph. It was a tough scene on the day. And now a tough outcome," said Farke. "I didn't know you could even damage ligaments in the foot. I never accused the player, not even at the time after the game, and I know it was not his intention.

"I was a striker myself and when I was just running after the ball I would try to set the tone for my other team mates.

"The ankle is okay. The ligaments are okay but there was so much energy on his foot in that challenge the ligaments in that area of the foot were damaged. If I am honest in the beginning we were concerned that if it had been any worse it could be his whole career.

"It is still bad luck, to be out for two months, then get 25 minutes on the pitch and then out until January. That is the reality. He doesn't need surgery but he has some complicated ligament damage."

Farke joked on Friday Teemu Pukki might have to put in a shift at right back against the champions Manchester City for his injury-ravaged squad.

"Listen, I could go into a dark cave and worry about it or you accept that every team at some point or other in the season will have this situation," said Farke. "I am not sure if any other team has to handle quite such a situation. It is a special one. We didn't have many players on the training pitch. In fact we had more in the treatment room.

"I always speak about how I trust my lads. It is tricky before such a game of this scale but if we can find 11 lads to wear the yellow shirt and be competitive and fight that is what we will do. I have players who can play in different positions.

"Even if Teemu had to play right full back, he could play right full back.

"We will find players who can defend. That gives others a chance to shine and can bring the group even closer together. We always stress how we need all the lads in our dressing room and this situation proves it."

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