David Silva is out of Manchester City’s title showdown with Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
City’s captain suffered a muscular injury in the first-half of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Southampton and has been ruled out of the potential title race-defining trip to Anfield.
The loss of Silva, 33, is a major blow to City and boss Pep Guardiola, for whom the cultured playmaker is such an influential player.
Silva – in his last season with City – will also miss Wednesday’s Champions League tie away to Atalanta, but it is the loss of him for the Liverpool clash that will hurt the champions most.
Asked if Silva will be fit to face Liverpool, Guardiola said: “I don’t think so.
“I didn’t speak with the doctor, but when he has a muscular problem and cannot play more minutes, it’s because he has something.