Football: Kompany's latest injury gives new boss headache

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany goes off injured during the Barclays Premier League football match against Sunderland.
Manchester City's Vincent Kompany goes off injured during the Barclays Premier League football match against Sunderland. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany faces another spell out of action, after aggravating a calf injury just eight minutes into his comeback.

The Belgium centre-back had missed eight successive matches with the problem before returning as a substitute after 62 minutes of City's 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland at the Etihad on Saturday .

However, he was forced to leave the pitch soon afterwards, leaving manager Manuel Pellegrini with a significant defensive problem ahead of tomorrow's Premier League trip to title rivals Leicester City.

 

"Vincent is not the best news. He was ready to return, but I did not want him to play the whole game," Pellegrini said.

"He worked the whole week with normality. We will see what the doctor says, but it is the same injury to the same calf."

Kompany made an emotional statement on his Facebook page: "Today was a bad day for me. My body feels invincible - the best it's ever been - but I'm challenged by a number of small and local injuries.

"It leaves me more frustrated than with any of the 'big' injuries I've had but it's a challenge that I will overcome."

City have not kept a clean sheet all season when Kompany has been missing, and his absence causes significant concern for Pellegrini ahead of a very busy month.

His side face at least seven matches across three competitions next month following the game at Leicester, and the manager will hope that his captain can make a quick return.

Before Kompany came on, City conceded a sloppy goal to Sunderland striker Fabio Borini, having earlier taken a commanding lead with goals from Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Kevin de Bruyne.

"Of course, I think it is better to win 4-0 than 4-1. Maybe it would have been better to win 7-1 and score more goals but if you tell me now we are going to win all the games 4-1 here this season, then I don't have any problem," Pellegrini said.

Sunderland, who play Liverpool on Wednesday, remain next to bottom of the Premier League, suffering a fourth successive defeat after conceding three goals in the opening 25 minutes.

"In the last three games, we have gifted teams goals and found it difficult to come back," said manager Sam Allardyce.

"Until we start getting better defensively, we are going to struggle to get results."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'Kompany's latest injury gives boss new headache'. Print Edition | Subscribe