Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will be without defender Vincent Kompany for at least a month due to injury.
The Chilean tactician confirmed that his club captain has suffered a second degree tear in his calf, after he was forced off less than 10 minutes into his comeback against Sunderland at the weekend.
Although the Belgian international missed out on Monday night against Leicester City, his teammates were able to keep their first clean sheet of the season without him as they claimed a point in a goalless draw with their rivals at the top of the table.
“Vincent has an injury, second degree on his calf so we’ll see how many weeks he will be out, I don’t think less than three or four weeks,” Pellegrini said, according to Sky Sports.
“It is not the same injury – the same calf – but in a different part.
“I am not a doctor but normally with a muscle injury less than three or four weeks is very difficult, especially on the calf.”
City remain without a win away from home in six league outings, and that has contributed to the fact that they have fallen three points off the pace behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.
In addition, the loss of Kompany will come as a bitter blow for the club who rely heavily on the commanding centre back to lead the side, with the likes of Elaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi again failing to convince against the Foxes despite producing a shutout.
As a result, it remains to be seen whether or not the title contenders can maintain their push without Kompany in the coming weeks, or if their rivals make the most of their obvious weakness.