Leroy Sane will miss around “six of seven months” of the season with a knee injury, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
The winger, 23, tore his anterior cruciate ligament and was forced off after just 13 minutes of City’s Community Shield triumph over Liverpool last weekend.
City confirmed Sane will have surgery following the injury.
“I don’t know but normally these kind of injuries are six to seven months,” the City boss said. “Hopefully in February or March he can come back with us.
“Unfortunately it’s incredibly bad news because in three seasons we have had three ACLs.
“He’s a young player, hopefully he will recover well in terms of the surgery next week. He is in the best hands possible.
“All the people here are going to try to help him in the tough moment because he will feel alone after a few months.”
Germany international Sane was linked with a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich but this latest setback has appeared to have ended any speculation surrounding his future.
“I didn’t think he was leaving,” Guardiola added. “Always I said he’s our player and he didn’t tell me he wanted to leave, he played the pre-season and he played in the final.”
It spells an opportunity for winger Riyad Mahrez, who has now been cleared to play against West Ham on Saturday – a match you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT from 12:30pm.
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City left Mahrez out against Liverpool due to concerns about medicine the 28-year-old took while at the African Cup of Nations in July, where he captained Algeria to the title.
Guardiola also confirmed David Silva will be the Citizens’ captain this season – which will be his last at the club – after Vincent Kompany left at the end of last term.
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