Manchester City will be without Aymeric Laporte for up to a month after the Frenchman suffered a hamstring strain during the midweek win over Real Madrid.
Laporte was forced off after 32 minutes of the match, falling to the floor and looking devastated as Fernandinho was brought on to replace the injury-tormented centre-back.
The hamstring strain he suffered looks to have been a direct result of being rushed back into action too soon, with Pep Guardiola desperate to field his top central defender at any cost ahead of other, less favoured, options.
That was evident against Madrid, with the strenuous workload placed upon his shoulders being too much since his making his comeback against Sheffield United in January after five months out. His previous setback was a serious knee injury that required surgery.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final clash with Aston Villa, Guardiola revealed the extent of the injury.
"He has a hamstring injury, three weeks out more or less, a month. Unfortunately this happens after four or five months out," he said, via Andy Hampson.
Guardiola on Laporte: Life is not easy and always in the world the people who survive are the ones who cope with the bad moments. It is what it is. Accept it, work hard to come back as soon as possible. #MCFC— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) February 28, 2020
The injury means that Laporte will miss the return leg against Los Blancos in Manchester, as well as up to five other crucial fixtures. Firstly, the obvious absence for the Carabao Cup final, but following that, there is an away trip to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup before traveling to face Manchester United in the Premier League.
Another home clash with Burnley is to follow, before it is touch and go whether the French defender will be fit in time as the Citizens travel to west London to take on Chelsea in the top flight on 21 March.