Young star ready to return to action
Manchester City striker John Guidetti appears ready to return to action for the first time this season. The only question is where he will play.
Guidetti became the talk of football last year when he scored 20 goals in 23 games for Rotterdam in the Dutch First Division. He appeared set to make the jump from the Under-21 Swedish national team to the full side when he began complaining of numbness in his left leg. After months of testing, doctors finally determined Guidetti had a viral infection that had attacked his central nervous system. Treatment was problematic until late this fall, although the infection was so bad at one point his career appeared in jeopardy.
“He is getting better. For about two or three months he couldn’t do anything, and it takes a long time to get that back,” said Manchester City assistant coach David Platt. “Plus it was strange; I can’t even call it an injury. It was a virus. He’s taking part in some of the sessions; he’s still in phases of rehabilitation. I think if he continues to progress in the manner he is doing he will be back well before the end of the season.”
Now back in full training, it still looks highly unlikely that the 20-year-old will feature in any of head coach Roberto Mancini’s first team plans at Manchester City this season. That means Guidetti could well go out on loan once more, either overseas or possibly to a Premiership side fighting relegation.
On his Twitter page, Guidetti made no mention of his preference, but said only that he wants to return to full fitness and “get some matches.”
With Sevilla in Spain, Italian side Fiorentina, Rotterdam and English sides QPR, Reading and Aston Villa all vying to grab him on loan, chances are the Swede won’t have to wait much longer to get into a match.

Sundsvall shrugs off Stockholm challenge
The league-leading Sundsvall Dragons held off a determined rally by seventh-place 08 Stockholm to claim an 86-83 win Jan. 19 that kept Sundsvall in first place.
The Dragons (19-3) held a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter when 08 went on a 26-16 run that made the game close. Stockholm, however, had no answer for the hot free-throw shooting of Sundsvall, which went 27-for-32 from the foul line. Hiynur Baeringsson led Sundsvall with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Michael Cuffee, a Middle Tennessee State University product, added 19 points and 11 boards. Kodi Augustus, a Mississippi State standout, led Stockholm with 16 points and five rebounds.
The victory stretched Sundsvall’s year-opening win streak to three.
The Dragons weren’t alone in claiming victory in Round 22. All six teams at the top of the standings won with second-place Uppsala (16-6) knocking off the Eagles 80-68. Third-place Södertälje (15-5) breezed past LF Basket 94-79 while fourth-place Borås (15-7) hammered Nässjö 101-83. Fifth-place Solna (15-8) defeated Jämtland 85-65. Sixth-place Norrköping (13-8) squeezed past Eco Örebro 83-82.
The Dolphins, playing at home, had few answers for Basketligan rookie Darris Santee. The UNLV product had 25 points to lead Eco Örebro. Northern Arizona standout Joakim Kjellborn led The Dolphins with 25 points and nine boards while Pavel Ermolinshi had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
Solna also got a boost from an American player as Donald Johnson had a double-double, netting 13 points and pulling in 16 boards.
Kenneth Simms led Sodertalje to its win over LF Basket, putting in 25 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. The Cumberland College star leads the Basketligan in rebounding with 14 per game while averaging 20 points per game.


Allsvenskan sides jump through transfer window
The January transfer opened in international football and Allsvenskan sides were quick to scoop up players both from abroad and other Swedish clubs.
Defending champions Elfsborg made the biggest splash so far as they sold Under-21 international midfielder Oscar Hiljemark to PSV Eindhoven in Holland for 19 million kronor ($2.9 million). The Borås side didn’t sit on the money long as it bought Norwegian international midfielder Henning Hauger from German side Hannover 96 for $2.7 million.
IFK Göteborg, which built an all-star team last year during the transfer period, was relatively quiet until mid-January when it won the sweepstakes for 19-year-old Ludwig Augustinsson. The Blåvitt parted company with 35-year-old striker Stefan Selakovic and are reportedly searching for at least one more forward. Defender Adam Johansson, who joined Seattle in the MLS last season, announced on Jan. 18 he wants to return to Göteborg.
Malmö FF has been the most active club so far, signing five new players, including highly rated midfielder Emil Forsberg from Sundsvall and Ghana Under-21 international forward Benjamin Fadi. The Sky Blues parted company with eight players, including Wilton Figueiredo and Ulrich Vinzents, who left as free agents and goalkeeper Daniel Andersson who retired. The transfer window remains open until Jan. 31.

Elitserien playoff picture taking shape
Despite having 14 games left on the schedule the Elitserien playoff picture is already pretty clear as the top eight teams continue to separate from the bottom four.
Skellefteå remains atop the standings with 84 points. SAIK knocked off second-place HV 71 4-2 Jan. 19 as league-leading scorer Bub Holloway picked up a pair of assists to lead Skellefteå to the win. Holloway now has 53 points from 17 goals and 36 assists.
Despite the loss, HV 71 remained in second place with 78 points. Färjestad took advantage of the Blue Bulls’ loss to close within three points of second place by knocking off Rögle 5-1 on Jan. 18. Luleå remained in fourth place with 73 points after claiming a 3-2 win over the Växjö Lakers in a penalty shootout. Linköping, also with 73 points, slipped to fifth place after losing in penalty shootout to Frölunda.
Modo, with 68 points, remained in sixth place after an overtime win over AIK. Frölunda stayed in seventh place with 62 points after its win over Linköping. Defending champions Brynäs was in eighth place, also with 62 points.
The next closest team, ninth-place AIK, has just 46 points. Barring a complete meltdown by either Frölunda or Brynäs, the chances of AIK or tenth-place Växjö, with 44 points, reaching the playoffs appear slim.