By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Vincent Kompany has been ruled out until late January in a huge blow to Manchester City’s title hopes.
Manuel Pellegrini revealed in the aftermath of City’s goal-less draw at Leicester on Monday night that the skipper will be absent for another three to four weeks after being being assessed by club medical staff.
Kompany’s comeback lasted just nine minutes on Boxing Day as he aggravated a calf injury in his team’s 4-1 win over Sunderland.
This was confirmed by Pellegrini on Monday night.
“It will maybe be three or four weeks,” explained the City manager in his post-match press conference. “It is the same calf but a different part. For it to be less than three or four weeks would be very difficult.”
In addition to the Watford match on Saturday, Kompany is set to miss up to six other fixtures in January, including the League Cup semi-final double-header against Everton and Premier League clashes against Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
The central defender made his return on Boxing Day after being sidelined since 8 November 8. He appeared to over-stretch within seconds of replacing Nicolas Otamendi and tried to run the problem off but could not continue.
The Belgian international took to Facebook shortly after the game to reassure fans following his early substitution against Sunderland.
“Today was a bad day for me,” Kompany wrote. “My body feels invincible – the best it’s ever been – but I’m challenged by a number of small and local injuries. It leaves me more frustrated than with any of the ‘big’ injuries I’ve had but it’s a challenge that I will overcome.
“There are worst things in life of course and I never forget that. So I’m definitely not asking anyone to feel sorry for me and I hope you wouldn’t anyway. This is a way to communicate my situation to those who maybe deserve answers.”
It will be Kompany’s third extended spell on the sidelines this season.