Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini provided the team news at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated clash between the Citizens and league leaders Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium.
France centre-back Eliaquim Mangala was earlier reported to be closing in on on a return to first-team action following a hamstring injury, but Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed that the former Porto defender has suffered a set-back that is likely to delay his return by a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, winger Jesús Navas has picked up a hamstring injury and is expected to be on the sidelines for around three weeks. In positive news for Manchester City, however, captain Vincent Kompany has returned to training and could make his comeback later in the month.
Pellegrini delivers positives news on Vincent Kompany
The Belgian had been out of action with a calf injury since early November, before making his comeback in late December against Sunderland. Unfortunately for Kompany, he suffered a setback just eight minutes since his introduction into the game, and the centre-back has been on the sidelines ever since.
However, Pellegrini revealed that the Manchester City skipper is expected to begin full training with the squad in a week’s time. The Chilean is quoted by the official club website as saying: “I hope after another week, Vincent will be back working with the squad fully.
“We know exactly what happened with the injury to Vincent now. The risk for the future is exactly the same as it is with every player. It’s important now for Vincent to start playing again as we have just 14 senior players. That’s not so many for so many games.”
Navas and Mangala ruled out of Leicester clash
The injury to Navas will come as a major blow to Pellegrini given the absence of Samir Nasri and Kevin De Bruyne, but former Liverpool star Raheem Sterling can now look forward to a steady run in the team. Meanwhile, Mangala’s injury is also a significant set-back given the dearth of centre-backs on Manchester City’s books. Bacary Sagna could fill in temporarily, while Argentina’s Martín Demichelis is also an option for Pellegrini.
Addressing the media at his pre-match press conference on Friday, the 62-year-old said: “Unfortunately Mangala has another injury and he’ll be another couple of weeks. Navas has a muscle injury in his hamstring. He’ll be out for a minimum of three weeks.”
Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony also remains sidelined, and Pellegrini revealed that an inflammation was causing the former Swansea striker pain. As with Kompany, Bony is also expected to return to training next week.