By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Samir Nasri faces a battle to play again this season, according to Manuel Pellegrini.
The Manchester City winger revealed last week that he had suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring problem and would be sidelined for another three months.
But City manager Pellegrini has warned that the picture is bleaker than originally feared as he gave an update on Nasri’s situation.
“Samir is out for four or five months,” said Pellegrini, speaking at his media briefing on Tuesday night ahead of City’s Champions League clash against Juventus on Wednesday.
This means Nasri might not return until the end of April, and is facing a fight to play again this season for the Premier League title favourites.
It is a crushing blow for City as they cope with a mounting injury list in the wake of last Saturday’s 4-1 mauling at the hands of Liverpool.
“We have a difficult situation with too many injured,” Pellegrini said. “In defence, we have [Pablo] Zabaleta., [Vincent] Kompany and [Eliaquim] Mangala injured. In midfield, Nasri and [David] Silva, while in attack, [Wilfried] Bony is out.
“I hope that David could be involved in the game at the weekend. I’m not 100% sure but he has improved a lot in the last two days – I also hope Bony will be fit. It will be difficult for Vincent and Mangala to be ready for then.”
Nasri, who has started only two matches for the club this season, originally suffered a hamstring injury when he came on as a substitute in his side’s 5-1 win over Bournemouth on 17 October.
Pellegrini had used all of his three permitted subs when it became clear Nasri was in pain late on in the game, but the Frenchman remained on the pitch.
It is not clear whether Nasri’s decision to remain on the pitch while injured, despite his side being 4-1 up and effectively having won the game, exacerbated his problem.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match in Turin, City have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages but want to claim top spot in the group after paying the price in recent season for finishing in second place.
Victory against Juventus will secure them 12 points four more than the Serie A champions, and guarantee progress into the Round of 16 as group winners.