Manchester City have confirmed that Vincent Kompany is expected to remain sidelined for another month at least as he struggles to overcome a problematic calf injury.
City have struggled defensively in their captain’s absence and after seeing a specialist, the player has had their worst fears confirmed that he won’t be back in action until the start of March at the very earliest.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “Vincent is far away from comeback as he needs at least three weeks more to recover from his muscle injury.
“After that it is not only to be fit from his injury he must be 100 per cent fit to play a game.”
The setback means Kompany is set to miss several big games in the title race against rivals Leicester and Tottenham as well the first leg of the Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev.
It is bad news for City, whose defending was shambolic at times during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at West Ham.
Centre half Kompany has only made nine appearances this season.
But they have conceded just twice in those games compared with 21 in the 14 games without him.
Clichy wants defensive improvement
Meanwhile, defender Gael Clichy says City must improve if they are to win the title this season.
“We have to do better.
“We conceded a couple of goals which tells you we can do better.
“Overall our performance was good but the second goal killed us a bit as we were on top of them. But that’s what happens if you don’t take your chances.
“I’m not surprised at how good West Ham were, they are a great team with great players. But we can do better and we have to do better.”