Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic is likely to miss two to three weeks of action after suffering a recurrence of a quad injury.
Kovacic pulled out of Croatia’s European Championship qualifiers against Latvia and Armenia on Monday, the day after he appeared as a substitute in City’s 4-4 draw at Chelsea. Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said Kovacic “felt a muscle” and the 29-year-old subsequently stayed in Manchester for a check-up.
Kovacic previously sustained the quad injury earlier this season, causing him to miss three City matches across two weeks in September. City expect to know the full extent of Kovacic’s latest injury next week.
City have also seen defender Nathan Ake, goalkeeper Ederson and midfielder Matheus Nunes withdraw from their respective international squads.
The Netherlands said Ake would not join up with the rest of Ronald Koeman’s squad on Sunday evening, after the 28-year-old had missed the Chelsea match through injury. Ederson then pulled out of the Brazil squad on Tuesday due to a foot problem, which national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said was sustained during the Chelsea game. Portugal said on Wednesday that Nunes had been “declared clinically unfit” following tests and he will not play a part in their games against Liechtenstein and Iceland.
City also have Kevin De Bruyne as a long-term absentee. The Belgian suffered a hamstring injury on the opening day of the season against Burnley and had surgery on the issue. Manager Pep Guardiola said on De Bruyne last week: “I spoke with him, and he said he feels really good. He’s not training with us yet, and I don’t know when he will. I would say he’s in the last phase before he trains with us again.”
City host Liverpool next Saturday in the Premier League, before welcoming RB Leipzig to Manchester three days later. Guardiola’s side then face Tottenham Hotspur on December 3 before travelling to Aston Villa on December 6.
Record Premier League revenue and wages: Manchester City’s finances analysed
(Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)