Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will be out of action for “a long time” after sustaining suspected knee ligament damage against Watford, Pep Guardiola has revealed.
The Germany international went down after being fouled by Nordin Amrabat after 34 minutes of Wednesday’s 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Gundogan tried to play on, but had to hobble off to be replaced by Fernando one minute before half-time and looked upset as he left the field.
The 26-year-old has a long history with injuries – a back problem saw him miss the 2013-14 season for Borussia Dortmund along with the World Cup, while a knee problem ruled him out of Euro 2016 earlier this year.
“I’m so, so sad and unhappy for what happened with Ilkay Gundogan as it looks like we are going to miss him for a long time,” said Guardiola at his post-match media conference.
“It is of course the worst news of the day. We will know more tomorrow. It doesn’t look good, I think several months.
“We will know the extent of the injury when he has been properly assessed by the doctor but I think he may be out for some time.”
City’s victory – their first in three league games – came after Pablo Zabaleta put them ahead with his first Premier League goal in more than two years in the 33rd minute and David Silva sealed victory late on.
“We are happy with the result, it was important to win this game against a well-organised Watford side,” added Guardiola.
“All the team worked hard and it is good to get a clean sheet. Our defenders did well against tough, tough strikers.
“We need Zabaleta’s spirit, he is part of this history and played well with and without the ball.
“On the pitch and in the dressing room he is important for us.”
City will now turn their attention to a crunch home clash against title rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
Walter Mazzarri, meanwhile, felt Watford put in a strong performance despite barely troubling the City goal.
“We played a great game,” he said. “It’s not easy to play here and I think we had a great game, especially in the second half.
“Jerome Sinclair worked a lot for the team [on his full debut] and sacrificed a lot. He did a lot of important work throughout the pitch.”
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