Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne could be out for up to six weeks in what is a major blow to Manchester City.
The Belgian was taken off in their win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night.
It emerged that the midfielder was suffering with a hamstring issue and the City boss has revealed that it is worse than initially feared.
De Bruyne’s hamstring tear was reportedly going to keep him out for four weeks.
Now though it could end up being six weeks which would mean City having to deal without their star man.
“It’s a big blow, isn’t it? It is but we have to move forward,” said the Catalan.
“I’m not saying anything that anyone doesn’t know, it is unfortunate for him and for us and we have to find a solution because everyone in their own life is struggling in the situation we are living and we have to adapt.”
Guardiola’s side have been handed a generous set of fixtures in January, but face a challenging February.
It means De Bruyne’s injury could not have come at a worse time with a trip to Anfield in less than a fortnight.
After the Liverpool game on February 4 the title hopefuls play both north London teams in the space of eight days.
That starts with them hosting Tottenham on February 13 before heading to the Emirates.
Guardiola’s team also return to Champions League action with a game in Germany against Borussia Monchengladbach.
West Ham are City’s final fixture in what could be a make or break month.
A Manchester derby is first up in March and that could end up being De Bruyne’s return should he be sidelined for six weeks.
The two clubs are first and second in the league meaning the clash at the Etihad could have a huge say in where the title goes.