Manchester City have been dealt a blow with the news that captain Vincent Kompany is set for another three weeks out.
The Belgian defender has been injured since City’s 3-1 win over Everton in October but had thought to be on the road to recovery.
He is expected to miss City’s home games against Swansea City, Viktoria Plzen and Tottenham Hotspur.
Belgian FA team physio Lieven Messchalck was called upon to assess the defender after City raised concerns about the extent of injury.
"I think Vincent is going to be ready in several weeks," Messchalck told Sky Sports News.
"We will do everything we can to bring back Vincent in a good way for a long time.
"First of all he had a rupture, a tear into the abductor and then also he has bad luck with a small thing on the front side now, so it's everything together.
"It's not really so long, eight weeks is nothing in the time of injury, you must respect biology."
Kompany’s prolonged absence is a huge blow for a City team that has lost four Premier League games on the road this season, following Sunday’s 1-0 reverse at Sunderland.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini will hope his influential captain can return to action sooner rather than later.
The Sky Blues have plenty of work to do defensively if they are to climb the table in search of a second Premier League crown in three seasons.