Uphill Gardner battle for derby

Gardner, who is City’s leading scorer with four goals this season,

missed Saturday’s shock 1-0 home success over Chelsea with an ankle

injury. Blues boss Alex McLeish is guarded about Gardner’s chances

of being fit to face Villa on December 1 at St Andrews. He said:

“We are still awaiting the results coming from the specialist in

London. “We thought it (the ankle) might be worse than it actually

is. “We are hopeful Craig is only going to be out for two to three

weeks so we will await the specialist report. “Is he out of the

derby? I don’t know, I need to check with the doctor.” Gardner

moved across the city to Birmingham in January and helped the club

he supported as a boy to a goalless draw at Villa Park last month.

His replacement, Lee Bowyer, scored the winner against Chelsea –

his first goal for 11 months.