Kevin De Bruyne is set to be ruled out until after the international break with the ankle injury he sustained during Euro 2020.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has not called the Manchester City playmaker up to his squad for their upcoming international fixtures next week due to the problem.
And he also revealed that De Bruyne will have to sit out the Arsenal game this weekend, telling reporters : “He played against Spurs, but felt some pain again. He won’t play this weekend.”
Pep Guardiola will be relieved that the 30 year old is not going away with his national team having not been fit enough for his club, but the sooner the nagging injury goes away the better for City.
De Bruyne suffered damage to his ankle ligaments in Belgium’s last-16 win over Portugal at Euro 2020 yet played again days later in the quarter-final defeat to Italy, describing it afterwards as a “miracle” that he had been able to play.
That problem has persisted over the last six weeks, with the star returning to Manchester carrying the injury and unable to complete full training sessions with the squad in his first fortnight back.
Guardiola brought De Bruyne off the bench for the final ten minutes against Tottenham despite his lack of training, but he was not involved at all in the 5-0 win over Norwich a week later as he watched from the stands.
City will now hope that the three weeks without a game can ensure De Bruyne can fully overcome the issue and begin contributing to their Premier League title defence.