Manchester City have been dealt a blow as news comes that veteran midfielder Fernandinho will be out of action for up to six weeks with a leg injury suffered during the closing stages of Wednesday night’s Champions League win over Porto.
The Brazilian was brought on by manager Pep Guardiola in the 85th minute to help protect City’s 3-1 lead and see the game out, only to then limp off and be replaced himself in stoppage time.
Guardiola wasted little time in confirming that it was ‘bad news’ immediately after the game, telling reporters, “It is a problem in his leg. I think he will be out for four to six weeks. It is a big blow for us, with the amount of games.”
Although Fernandinho has only started in the Carabao Cup since City’s shocked 5-2 Premier League defeat at the hands of Leicester, the 35-year-old stood to play an important role in the coming weeks and months as a result of a congested fixture list.
A squeezed Champions League schedule to make up for the delay to the start of the European season sees City playing every midweek between now and 9 December, with a Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal in December also yet to be arranged, save for the November international break.
Even at the lower end of his estimated absence, four weeks out could still see Fernandinho miss six City games. If it is six weeks, he could miss another four games on top of that.
Fernandinho largely operated as an emergency centre-back last season following the departure of Vincent Kompany and the long-term injury suffered by Aymeric Laporte in the first half of the campaign. Since the summer arrivals of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias, he has mostly been restored to his usual defensive midfield role so far in 2020/21.