Micah Richards' Sky Sports absence explained as Jamie Carragher sends regards

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Micah Richards
Micah Richards' Sky Sports absence explained as Jamie Carragher sends regards

Micah Richards was forced to pull out of Sky Sports' coverage of Manchester City's Premier League win over Chelsea due to illness.

Richards is one of English football's most popular pundits but wasn't well enough to attend Thursday night's game. That left Sky Sports one pundit short for their coverage, with only Karen Carney and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink joining presenter David Jones in the studio.

Richards' absence was unexplained for most of the Premier League clash, but Jamie Carragher revealed all late on. He said on commentary: "[I] Have to send my regards to Micah - not too well - had to pull our of the game tonight."

It's unclear when Richards will make his return to punditry. Sky Sports fans offered their support to the former England international on social media, with one tweeting: "Sorry to hear you're not well... get well soon my favourite pundit."

Television viewers will be hoping Richards makes a speedy recovery. The 34-year-old, who was forced to retire early due to injury, played for City, Fiorentina, Aston Villa and England during his career and won three trophies, including the Premier League title.

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Richards has reinvented himself as one of the best pundits in the game since hanging up his boots. He also appears frequently on the BBC - featuring on the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast alongside Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer - and American brocaster CBS Sports.

Micah Richards' Sky Sports absence explained as Jamie Carragher sends regardsJamie Carragher was without his colleague Micah Richards on Thursday night (Twitter/CBSSportsGolazo)

Who is your favourite TV pundit? Let us know in the comments below!

Although there are no Premier League games this weekend due to the FA Cup, Richards could feature on the BBC's coverage of the latter competition. He may also be involved in Sky Sports' coverage of the EFL Cup quarter-finals next week.

Manchester United versus Everton, Coventry versus Leicester, Sheffield Wednesday versus Newcastle, Liverpool versus Wolves, Cardiff versus Leeds, Manchester City versus Chelsea and Oxford versus Arsenal are the live televised FA Cup fixtures for this weekend. The BBC's coverage is shared with ITV.

Richards is known for his distinctive laugh and has been praised for his joyous approach to punditry. He's also formed an unlikely bromance with Roy Keane, with Richards describing the Manchester United legend as a "diamond" in an interview with The Guardian.

Richards added: "At first, he [Keane] seems standoffish, but he’s the sweetest, humblest person you’ll ever meet. Just don’t take the p***. He’s so passionate and loves the game. He can’t let the game go."

On his punditry career, Richards said: "I love everything I’m doing. But my schedule is too hectic and I’ve got a son who’s five and I’m starting to miss key parts of his life. That’s the only thing I’m worried about. But football will always be my passion."

Richards has also admitted that he needs time to grow into punditry, despite enjoying instant success. He added: "I just need time to grow. Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Roy Keane have been doing it for 10 to 15 years... We all need time."

Tom Blow

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