Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden both face lengthy spells on the sidelines after reporting to Manchester City with injuries, according to manager Pep Guardiola.
The pair came out of the summer’s European Championship with problems that will require rehabilitation.
Foden missed England’s final loss to Italy with a foot injury and was pictured last month wearing a protective boot. Belgium star De Bruyne, meanwhile, carried an Achilles problem through his country’s campaign.
“Kevin still is out as well. I think he will come back a little bit sooner than Phil, apparently. But both are still out for a long time, for a while.”
With City allowing their England internationals to return to full training next week, Guardiola admits he only has “half a team” available for Saturday’s Community Shield meeting with Leicester at Wembley.
It means City will start their Premier League title defence, at Tottenham eight days later, with Guardiola admitting his squad will be far from their peak when the campaign kicks off.
“Today the managers in the big clubs, where there are many internationals, we cannot work,” he said.
“We are here to handle the team spirit as well as possible but it’s over, that time when you used to have four or five weeks to prepare.
“Half of the team is out and we don’t complain. It’s a pleasure to play in the Community Shield and I’m lucky in the sixth season that my players know what they have to do.”Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.