Manchester City head coach Manuel Pellegrini has given updates on his injured trio of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov.
The Blues resume their campaign as Premier League leaders on Saturday afternoon, when they welcome top-flight new-boys Bournemouth to the Etihad Stadium. However, they do so without their leading goalscorer Aguero who suffered a hamstring injury whilst on international duty for Argentina, meaning Wilfried Bony will likely be given an opportunity against the Cherries.
In a further blow to City, key playmaker Silva was also injured whilst representing his country, picking up an ankle knock just 10 minutes into Spain’s qualifier against Luxembourg. And just to top things off, fullback Kolarov also faces time on the sidelines after he too suffered a knock during the internationals, limping out of Serbia’s defeat to Portugal with a hamstring problem.
This has dealt a blow to City despite their star-studded squad, and speaking ahead of the visit of Eddie Howe’s side, Pellegrini revealed: “Sergio has a muscle injury, an important injury. I don’t think he will be back before one month. Silva has a kick in his ankle – he’s also out. Kolarov also has a hamstring injury. We’ll see in the next week. I hope both of them can be back in 15 days.”
Meanwhile, Pellegrini also used his pre-match press conference to criticise Belgium’s handling of Vincent Kompany. Although the City skipper turned up for international duty he did so with a medical report advising that he was not fully fit due to a calf injury. And although he sat out the win against Andorra, he played 60 minutes of their 3-1 win against Israel on Tuesday evening.
“I was not pleased because we sent Vincent Kompany with a medical report saying he cannot play,” added Pellegrini. “If a player withdraws from a national team squad, he cannot play for his club team in the next game. Vincent didn’t play in our last three games – it’s not my duty to do it but some day clubs would protest that, as it should be the same thing the other way.
“It’s no problem with Vincent. It was just important for him to work a whole week before playing a game – he couldn’t do it because he played with Belgium. The national squad have all the rights to do what they want. We can just make a suggestion with a medical report. They decided after a week he can play – maybe it’s better to make a call but they didn’t and he played.”