Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has ordered striker Emile Mpenza to take a complete break from training in a bid to get rid of a niggling hamstring problem.

The Belgium international looked like becoming Eriksson's first-choice front man this term but his progress has been hampered by fitness concerns.

The 29-year-old has not featured for City since the Carling Cup defeat to Spurs at Eastlands last month and he has already been ruled out of Wednesday night's FA Cup replay with West Ham and the Premier League encounter with Alan Curbishley's men at the weekend.

However, after chatting the situation through with Mpenza, Eriksson feels a decent amount of rest will allow the former Hamburg man to rediscover the early season form which brought him three goals before the end of September.

"I had a long talk with Emile last week and we decided that he needed at least a week's rest to get rid of the hamstring problem he has had," Eriksson told the club's official website.

"I hope that in a couple of weeks we will see the real Mpenza, because he has been struggling for a while now."