Willy Caballero is hopeful his fellow Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart can make a speedy recovery from the calf injury he sustained during Sunday’s derby defeat to Manchester United.
Caballero was rapturously welcomed on to the field following his Wembley penalty shootout heroics in the League Cup final against Liverpool last month and was relatively untroubled, but City could not cancel out Marcus Rashford’s 16th-minute opener and suffered a damaging 1-0 loss to their rvials at the Etihad Stadium.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini expects Hart to be sidelined for three to four weeks after the England international was injured attempting to salvage an under-hit backpass from Martin Demichelis and, after captain Vincent Kompany and winger Raheem Sterling suffered calf and groin injuries this week, Caballero bemoaned a familiar theme of a frustrating season for City.
“I spoke with [Hart] and he told me what he felt on the pitch. We have to wait now for the diagnosis,” the Argentine keeper told his club’s official website.
“I hope he recovers soon because we need him in this team. He is our first keeper so it is important for him to be fit soon.
“During the whole of this season we have had a lot of injuries. We are in the final part and we continue with this kind of injury.”
Caballero is now in line to play both legs of City’s Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain next month and, despite limited playing opportunities since moving to the Premier League from Malaga, the 34-year-old feels prepared.
“When I came here I knew what was going to be my situation but I came to play,” he said.
“If I have the opportunity I try to take it and keep it – I do my best. I had opportunities in the cup, I’ve been training really well so I am ready.”
Next up for City is a trip to AFC Bournemouth, with outgoing boss Pellegrini needing to spark a revival to retain a place in the top four, and Caballero believes this week’s international might have arrived at the ideal time for a side who have won one and lost four of their past six Premier League matches.
“We must take the second half [against United], which was a good reaction from all the players and the team, and focus on that reaction in the next game,” he added.
“Maybe it is a good time for us to recover the injured players – to recover [long-term injury victims] Samir [Nasri], to recover Kevin [De Bruyne] and a lot of players that we need.
“Maybe it is a good time to change and open our minds to relax as well.”