Knee injury sidelines Anelka

2012-03-12 10:23

Shanghai - A knee injury kept Nicolas Anelka from playing his highly-anticipated first match in the Chinese league and it is uncertain when he will return to the field, his club said Monday.

The French striker, the most high-profile foreign footballer ever to sign for the Super League, had been scheduled to take to the field on Saturday for his new club, Shanghai Shenhua.

"Doctors are taking care of his injury, which is not serious," a Shenhua club official said.

"It is difficult to say whether he will attend the next match as it depends on his condition," he said, adding the injury took place during training just over a week ago.

The Oriental Sports Daily reported Monday that the former Chelsea player had aggravated an old injury but the club had decided to be cautious.

Anelka has signed a two-year contract worth 270 000 euros (about $350 000) a week for the Chinese Super League side.

Shenhua will play long-time rival Beijing Guoan, which finished second in the league last season, in the Chinese capital on Friday.

The Shanghai club tied Saturday's match against Jiangsu Sainty and Anelka's absence disappointed thousands of fans.