Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has been ruled out for four to six weeks with a knee injury, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
The defender will not play again until City’s Boxing Day trip to Hull at the earliest after picking up the knock in the win at Crystal Palace weekend.
Guardiola has suggested that either Bacary Sagna, who covered for Kompany at Selhurst Park, or Fernandinho will play at centre-back in his absence.
But the City boss distanced Yaya Toure, who played at centre-back under Guardiola at Barcelona in the Champions League final against Manchester United in 2009, from playing in that position.
After Kompany visited a specialist in Spain this week, Guardiola said: “They confirmed what our doctor said. It’s a knee ligament. He will be four to six weeks out.
“Yaya can play in many positions but I think we have other options to play at centre-back. Fernandinho can play there, Sagna can play there.
“In Crystal Palace, Bacary came in after many weeks out with injury and played as central defender for many minutes.
“What happened in Barcelona happened once, in the final of the Champions League against Manchester United, because we had a lot of problems there, we didn’t have players, and he played amazing.
“But, in my mind, Yaya is going to play in more offensive terms, in our build-up in the last third.”
City travel to Burnley tomorrow and Guardiola could also be without Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta who picked up a knocks in the Champions League draw with Borussia Monchengladbach
“Sergio finished, not with an injury, but with a little problem in his foot,” Guardiola said.
“He will train at 4pm and today we will know exactly how his condition is going to be, and the condition of the other players. We play tomorrow at 12.30pm and tomorrow we will evaluate their conditions.”