Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany will miss Saturday’s Premier League match against Liverpool due to a calf injury, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Kompany has been ravaged by calf problems over recent seasons but recovered to start nine of City’s final 10 matches of 2016-17.
The 31-year-old has been a mainstay at centre-back this time around as well but did not feature in Belgium’s World Cup qualification win over Greece last weekend after suffering a familiar setback against minnows Gibraltar.
“He picked up a calf problem with Belgium, when they won 9-0 against Gibraltar,” Guardiola said.
“It will be short [absence] but the next time I do not think he will be able to play.”
City had an offer rejected for West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans towards the end of the transfer window but Kompany’s absence leaves them short ahead of the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s in-form side and the start of their Champions League campaign at Feyenoord next week.
It could bring Eliaquim Mangala, exiled on loan at Valencia last season and widely reportedly to have been available to Crystal Palace and West Brom on deadline day, or youngster Tosin Adarabioyo into the reckoning, with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones favourites to start against Liverpool.
“The window is over. With Vincent or without Vincent we though we maybe needed another one,” Guardiola said.
“But we have Mangala, we have Tosin and other players who can play in that position.”
Ilkay Gundogan is available to Guardiola, with the midfielder having stepped up his recovery from cruciate knee ligament damage by featuring for City’s elite development squad before the international break, but it was Kompany’s condition that dominated the agenda.
“I’m sad. I would like him to be fit. He made a huge effort,” Guardiola added.
“Our physios worked a lot to take care of him and in the last nine games of last season he played without a problem.
“In pre-season he played 90 minutes for three games no problem at all. Now we start the period where we play every three days and unfortunately we lost him.”