MANCHESTER — Manchester City’s Gael Clichy has been ruled out for up to seven weeks with an ankle problem, while Wilfried Bony is on crutches after suffering an injury in training.
Clichy has yet to play this season, with Aleksandar Kolarov in fine form at left-back, and was expected back soon.
But he has suffered a setback, which should mean the Serb has an extended run in the team.
Ivorian striker Bony revealed he had been hurt in training when he posted an Instagram picture of himself wearing a protective boot on his left foot.
But manager Manuel Pellegrini allayed fears that the striker would spend a long time on the sidelines, saying he would be out for only one game.
“Bony had yesterday a gash in his leg of around six or seven centimetres, so he is not able to play tomorrow [Saturday],” he said at a news conference.
“After the international break, he will be ready for the next game so it must be seven or 10 days.
“Clichy has a problem in his ankle, so I think he will be out for around six or seven weeks.”
Bony, who joined from Swansea for £25 million in January, has only scored twice in an injury-hit City career.
The Premier League leaders are set to include three youngsters in their 18-man squad for Saturday’s clash with Watford, when Kelechi Iheanacho, Patrick Roberts and Pablo Maffeo could be given competitive debuts.
Pellegrini is giving Iheanacho, a graduate of their academy, and summer signing Roberts, who came from Fulham for an initial £5 million, a chance in the squad.
“In the squad list we have Pablo Maffeo from the EDS [elite development squad] and Kelechi and Patrick Roberts,” he said.
Maffeo, an 18-year-old Spanish right-back who joined City from Barcelona, gets a chance in Zabaleta’s absence.
– ESPN FC
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