Manchester City are set to be without Kevin De Bruyne for three months but the Belgium midfielder does not require surgery on a lateral knee ligament injury.
De Bruyne was named City's Player of the Season as he starred in their record-breaking run to the Premier League title last term but his injury lands a significant early blow against Pep Guardiola's bid for back-to-back titles in England's top flight.
The 27-year-old sustained the setback during a training session on Wednesday and, following a visit to specialist Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona on Thursday, City have confirmed his diagnosis.
"Manchester City can confirm Kevin De Bruyne has suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion in his right knee," a club statement read, with De Bruyne having suffered a similar injury against Everton during the 2016 EFL Cup semi-final.
"No surgery is required and the midfielder is expected to be out for around three months."
We can confirm @DeBruyneKev has suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion in his right knee.— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 17, 2018
No surgery is required, and the midfielder is expected to be out for around three months.
Get well soon, KDB! #mancity pic.twitter.com/hozcvnF8BX
The timescale placed on De Bruyne's recovery means he will miss City's trip to Liverpool on October 7, with Jurgen Klopp's side the only team to beat them away from home in the Premier League last term and widely tipped to mount a title challenge this time around.
A scheduled trip to Tottenham later in the month would also appear to come too soon, while the November 11 derby at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester United represents a possible target for a high-profile return.
De Bruyne has proved a pivotal figure at City since his then club-record switch from Wolfsburg, with his influence only growing during Guardiola's tenure.
Since his debut in September 2015, he has supplied 43 assists in 91 Premier League stars, scoring 21 goals.
City launched their title defence with a 2-0 win at Arsenal last weekend on the back of beating Chelsea by the same scoreline in the Community Shield. Guardiola's men host Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
22 de septiembre 2018
|Ferguson returns to Old Trafford for Manchester United v Wolves|
|Walker ´hurt´ by Pochettino claims over Tottenham exit|
|Douglas Costa has paid his fine for Sassuolo spitting incident – Allegri|
|Djokovic: Sock gave me karma back for hitting Federer|
|Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin: Tale of the tape|
|Wang thrashes Putintseva to win Guangzhou title|
|There is no problem with Cavani - Tuchel silences rumours of PSG rift|
|Wilder & Fury sign contracts for December 1 bout|
|Neymar is the Kim Kardashian of football, claims Barton|
|We did not want to sell him - Perez insists Madrid got ´highest value´ for Ronaldo|
|Osaka continues run, Pliskova awaits in Tokyo final|
|Cardinals keep pace in wildcard race with win over Giants|
|Djokovic hits Federer, pair lose in doubles at Laver Cup|
|Nowitzki likely to come off bench for Mavericks in 21st season|
|Red Wings´ Green battling ´virus that attacked his liver´|
|They said I couldn´t score goals – Ibrahimovic hits back at early critics|
|Slater charged, set to miss Grand Final|
|Rose not changing approach alongside Woods|
|Woods ready to ´hang in there´ at East Lake|
|Shaqiri´s time will come at Liverpool – Klopp|
|Richarlison: I used to copy some of Neymar´s haircuts|
|Brady says Gordon is ´really eager to get in there´ despite limited practice|
|NBA changes clock-reset, ´clear path´ foul rules|
|Tigers´ Martinez will play final game on Saturday before retiring|
|Sanchez to start for Man United – Mourinho|
|Speight saves Ulster in thrilling Cheetahs draw|
|Simmonds at the double as Chiefs stay perfect|
|Woods, Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Ice-cool Shoaib denies Afghanistan in final over|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad Casablanca out as TP Mazembe pay penalty|
21 de septiembre 2018
|Eden inspires rout as Castleford book Wigan semi-final|
|Thiem & Wawrinka reach St. Petersburg semi-finals|
|No change to Aguero selection despite new contract, warns Guardiola|
|Woods and Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Wigan Athletic 1 Bristol City 0: Three on the trot for improving Latics|
|Josh Rosen will play ´when time is right,´ Cardinals GM says|
|Eagles RBs Ajayi & Sproles out Sunday v Colts|
|Ronaldo looking forward after Champions League red card - Alex Sandro|
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|