Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could be out of action for up to six weeks, manager Pep Guardiola said Friday.
The Belgium star limped off just before the hour in the midweek victory over Aston Villa with a muscular complaint.
A scan revealed the extent of the injury, with De Bruyne now set to miss key Premier League matches against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur next month as well as Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Cheltenham.
“The doctor said we’ll review the scan today (Friday) which we’ve done and it will be between four and six weeks out,” Guardiola told a news conference.
“We have to move forward. I’m not saying anything nobody knows about how important it is, but unfortunately for him and all of us, he is out for an important part of the season.
“We have to find a solution as everyone is struggling and we have to adapt.”
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker will also miss the Cup tie at fourth-tier Cheltenham after he too was forced off the field after suffering a injury against Villa.
But Guardiola was more upbeat about Walker’s prospects, saying: “Kyle had a big impact kick in his hips, but it was just a kick. He’s not available tomorrow but maybe for the next game.”
Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Saturday’s match as well after the striker revealed on Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Guardiola added: “What we wish is for him (Aguero) to feel better. He felt uncomfortable for two or three days after his positive test, he felt quite tired and had symptoms. But he feels well and we want him to come back.
“For a long time we’ve missed our best striker. Like with Kevin we will have to manage until they come back.”
Title-chasing Leicester suffer Vardy blow
Leicester’s Premier League title hopes suffered a blow on Friday as manager Brendan Rodgers said talismanic striker Jamie Vardy will be out “for a few weeks” to have a hernia operation.
The 34-year-old former England international’s 11 league goals this season have been pivotal in Foxes fans dreaming of a repeat of their fairytale 2016 title win.
Leicester lie third in the table, just two points off leaders Manchester United.
Rodgers had spoken earlier in the week of getting the best out of Vardy in the time he has remaining at the top as he has also been hindered by a recurring hip problem.
“We’ve been managing him over the past few months,” Rodgers said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Championship high-fliers Brentford.
“It will help the area repair. He can’t hold it off for much longer, there’s a lot of time in the season for him to make an impact.”
Rodgers said he was confident his side would cope without Vardy, one of the few remaining players still at the club from their title-winning side.
“When you don’t have one of the best striker’s in the league around, it’s disappointing,” said the Northern Irishman.
“We always try to rely on the collective, the group has always been able to find results.
“I’ve got other great strikers -– Ayoze Perez is and Kelechi Iheanacho.”