Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is unsure whether Vincent Kompany will be fit to return after the international break.
Kompany has been named in the Belgium squad for their final Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra and Israel despite missing City’s last four games with a calf injury.
Pellegrini accepts Belgium have a right to call up Kompany and examine him themselves ahead of two vital fixtures, but he is not even sure the 29-year-old will be fit to return for City following the international break.
Pellegrini said: “I can’t ask him not to travel – if the national team call him, he must go. He is an important player, he must be with his mates and Belgium are playing important games for the next European Championship.
“It is not a problem for him to go to the national squad but he cannot play.
“In the same way when you don’t play for your national team you cannot play after for your club, it must be the same in the other sense. If you cannot play for your squad you cannot play for your national squad.”
City have clashed with Belgium over Kompany’s fitness in the past. In 2013, former City boss Roberto Mancini criticised Marc Wilmots for playing Kompany against Macedonia despite lengthy absence with a calf injury.
Kompany is just one of name on City’s lengthy injury list. Yaya Toure, Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph and Samir Nasri are currently all on the sidelines, while David Silva, Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Iheanacho have only just returned to fitness.
Pellegrini said: “I hope that Vincent can return after the international break, but I am not sure. I hope that after 15 days he will be able to play but the calf is a difficult muscle. We must see in the way he improves.
“It is not normal what we have had in the last few weeks. Against Sunderland we had 11 players injured. Since then we have had an average of six, seven or eight (out). I think it is too much and I hope in this international break most of them will be fit.”
The problem with Kompany is not a new one, with the inspirational skipper having been out with numerous muscle injuries in recent years. His current lay-off is his 10th for a calf injury since the start of the 2011-12 season while there have also been absences for groin and hamstring problems in that time.
Pellegrini said: “It is a problem that in the last years he has had a lot of games that he could not play for different muscle injuries but, in the way he works, I hope in the future he will have less injuries.”
The recent escalation in City’s injury problems has coincided with a sticky spell. After winning their first five games of the season without conceding, City lost three in four prior to their midweek Champions League win at Borussia Monchengladbach.
City take on Newcastle on Saturday looking to regain the top spot in the Barclays Premier League they lost with defeat at Tottenham last weekend.
Pellegrini said: “Tomorrow we play a difficult team in Newcastle who played very well against Chelsea. We are not thinking about the top of the table. We are thinking about having a good performance and to add three more points.”
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