Pep Guardiola has been dealt a hammer blow with the news that Manchester City could be without Ferran Torres for six weeks.
The Spain attacker has picked up a fractured foot while playing for Spain in the recent UEFA Nations League.
Torres started and scored twice as Spain beat Euro 2020 winners Italy in the semi-finals of the Nations League before losing to France in the final.
Torres was replaced on 49 minutes against Italy after picking up an injury in a tackle with Jorginho.
“I’m not sure how Ferran will be,” said Spain boss Luis Enrique after the semi-final. “He had a knock in the first half and another in the second half so we decided to take no risks.”
However, he started in the final and played almost the entire game.
But, according to Marca, Torres returned to Manchester for medical tests. And x-rays have found that the attacker has suffered a small fracture in his right foot.
Guardiola will likely be furious with Spain, if as it seems, Torres started the final with the problem.
The forward’s injury is expected to keep him sidelined for a month at the very least.
The Premier League champions continue their defence of the title at home to Burnley on Saturday.
However, City have a further six games in the next month, including the Manchester derby.
Guardiola’s men have in fact 11 games over the next six weeks. While Torres is also almost certain to miss important games for Spain next month as they look to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Torres has been used as a central striker this season by Guardiola after the departure of Sergio Aguero.
He has made four starts in the league and scored twice, but has found himself benched in the last three games.
Guardiola has opted to use Jack Grealish and Phil Foden as false nines. He has also used Raheem Sterling centrally and the latest injury could open the door for the England man to get more game time.
Sterling has made just two Premier League starts this campaign. And while centre forward isn’t his preferred position, he will surely welcome the opportunity for more minutes.
Guardiola will be hoping Ederson and Gabriel Jesus return home safely from Brazil’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday evening.