Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Raheem Sterling are set to be sidelined for up to a month after sustaining injuries during their side’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.
Sterling suffered a groin injury midway through the first half, while Hart had to be stretchered off the pitch just after half-time after injuring his calf.
The pair are now likely to miss England’s international friendlies against Germany on Saturday and Netherlands next Tuesday. They are also likely to be ruled out of the first leg of City’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain on April 6.
“Both of them have muscle injuries – Raheem in his groin; Joe in his calf,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters. “I don’t think muscle injuries can heal in one week. They normally need three or four weeks.”
Pellegrini rued City’s missed attempts during the match, which United won courtesy of Marcus Rashford’s goal in the 16th minute.
However, despite the setback and United to within one point on the Premier League standings, Pellegrini is confident that City will maintain their place in the top four.
“We continue in fourth position,” he said. “We have to play for another 24 points. We must be focused on the next game.
“I am not unhappy with the performance of the team. We had 26 attempts on their goal and we dominated the game but missed chances to score.
“It is not the best way to finish the season but I am happy with the players’ attitude. They are all focused and they want to finish as near to the top as possible.
“We have another 24 points to play for and every game is different. United did not play better than us. It was a mistake in the lead up to the first goal. I don’t remember a lot of chances United had – they had just one after the goal.”