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Manchester City have yet to get to the bottom of Vincent Kompany's ongoing injury problems with the skipper likely to be sidelined for longer than expected.
Kompany limped out City's 4-1 win over Sunderland on St Stephen's Day just ten minutes after coming on as second-half substitute for Nicolas Otamendi, shaking his head to the City bench in disappointment as he headed for the tunnel.
It was thought the latest problem would keep him out for three to four weeks, but manager Manuel Pellegrini has hinted that he could be sidelined until 'the last part of the season'.
City have struggled defensively in the absence of their club captain, conceding a goal in all but one of every Premier League game the Belgian has missed, while they have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just one goal when he has played.
“We have Demichelis, we have Otamendi, we have Bacary Sagna, who can play in a central defensive position, we have Cameron [Humphreys], who is a young player who featured in pre-season with the squad," Pellegrini told reporters when asked about his defensive options.
"Mangala will return soon. Vincent maybe not so soon, but for the last part of the season, he could be fit. So at this moment, we are not thinking about making a change.”
When asked to elaborate on Kompany's condition, Pellegrini added: “It’s difficult, because Vincent is doing a lot of different things to try to understand and find the reasons why he has so many injuries. In this moment, it’s difficult for me to tell you an update about that.”