Manchester City has suffered a blow brought on by the World Cup as Portugal’s Ruben Dias was ruled out for up to a month.
Report has it that Dias picked up a problem with his thigh during Portugal’s last-16 victory over Switzerland but continued to play during the tournament.
The central defender remained on the pitch for the full 90 minutes as Portugal were dumped out by Morocco four days later and has not trained with City since his return from Qatar.
An initial review by medical personnel suggested that Dias, one of the club’s five captains, will miss City’s next five games after their 3-2 win over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup Last night.
The spell on the sidelines should rule the 25-year-old out of a double header with Chelsea and the derby against Manchester United on January 14. Dias is desperate to prove his fitness before the trip to Old Trafford.
His absence serves as a headache for Pep Guardiola, although City’s injury problems in defence have been eased by Kyle Walker’s return to fitness, meaning centre halves are no longer required to fill in at right back.
Kalvin Phillips has also been an absentee in training following a return from international duty and was missing at the Etihad Stadium.
The central midfielder’s five substitute appearances have totalled fewer than 60 minutes of football since a £42million summer switch from Leeds United.
‘Ruben is injured. Kalvin Phillips is not fit, he did not arrive in the best condition to play,’ Guardiola said.