Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will be out for “the next weeks” with a knee injury, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Kompany, who has been plagued by fitness problems over the past year, made his latest return to City’s starting line-up in Saturday’s Premier League match at Crystal Palace.
The 31-year-old was substituted before half-time in the 2-1 victory following a collision with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
The source of Kompany’s discomfort was initially reported to be double vision as a result of the heavy impact between himself and Bravo but the Belgium centre-back landed awkwardly and that resulted in knee damage.
“Fortunately nothing happened with his head,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group C match at Borussia Monchengladbach.
“The real problem is the knee. For the next weeks he is injured.”
Asked whether Kompany would be included in City’s squad for the knockout stages of the Champions League, Guardiola said: “Now is not the moment. First we have to qualify for the next round.”
Pep (on VK): “He is sad but he is in the best hands. He is travelling to a hospital in Spain so he can recover as soon as possible.” #mcfc
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 22, 2016
Kompany underwent groin and thigh surgery after last season’s Champions League semi-final loss to Real Madrid having suffered persistent calf setbacks throughout the campaign.
A groin injury in stoppage time soured his return in the 2-1 EFL Cup win at Swansea in September and he has featured sporadically thereafter.
At half-time in the next round, a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United, Kompany told Guardiola he did not feel able to continue and a similar situation arose during the recent international break when he was named in the starting XI for Belgium’s friendly with Netherlands but pulled out before kick-off.
“We have to try to help him week after week to see if he can play more often,” Guardiola added.
“He is sad but he is in the best hands. He is travelling to a hospital in Spain so he can recover as soon as possible.”
Victory at Borussia-Park will guarantee a spot in the round of 16 for City, following a stirring 3-1 home win over Barcelona last time out.
Guardiola went four games without a win versus Gladbach during his time in charge of Bayern Munich and a 4-0 win earlier in the round-robin phase over a side languishing 13th in the Bundesliga does nothing to convince him a straightforward task awaits.
“We were so happy with beating Barcelona,” he said. “But it was just one game. We cannot be considered favourites to win. Maybe in 10 years but we need time to achieve that.
“[Gladbach] are a really good team and they have a good mentality. We will see tomorrow whether we will win.”