Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa says there was no intention to harm Samir Nasri when he hacked down the Manchester City midfielder in the English Premier League on Sunday.
Nasri will be out for eight weeks after partially rupturing ligaments in his knee in the second half of City's 2-0 win. He also has excessive swelling on the knee.
Mbiwa was criticized for the wild way he twice swung a boot as Nasri got away from him, and City coach Manuel Pellegrini said he should have been sent off, while Nasri's father also lambasted Mbiwa in the French press on Monday.
But Mbiwa was quoted in the sports daily L'Equipe on Tuesday saying ''I certainly didn't have the intention of hurting him,'' adding he has tried to phone Nasri several times to apologize.