Manchester City have received bad news regarding Vincent Kompany's latest injury. According to a report by Jamie Jackson in the Guardian, Kompany has been assessed by a member of the Belgium FA's medical staff and is now expected to be out until December.
Kompany needs an eight-week period to fully recover from a series of injuries, and having sustained the injury in the match at home to Everton on Oct. 1, he's not expected to return until at least the game against Swansea at the Etihad on Dec. 1. Pellegrini had initially suggested that he would return for the match against Viktoria Plzen in two weeks weeks.
Lieven Maesschalck, a trusted Belgian physio who has assessed Kompany, told Sky Sports:
"I think Vincent is going to be ready in several weeks," Maesschalck told Sky Sports News. "We will do everything we can to bring back Vincent in a good way for a long time.
"First of all he had a rupture, a tear into the abductor and then also he has bad luck with a small thing on the front side now, so it's everything together.
"It's not really so long, eight weeks is nothing in the time of injury, you must respect biology."
With City struggling to string a run of good results together, Kompany's experience and organisation in defence is badly needed. He brings a steadying influence to the team, and it's his presence—perhaps more than any other—that strengthens City's hand.
Kompany’s impact on the side is clear. Both last season and this season, his absence has had an adverse effect on the team’s ability to win points. A six-match period without him last February saw City surrender their title to Manchester United, and his injury troubles this year have set them back again.
I wrote in detail this week about City with and without Kompany, and the stats (reproduced below) paint a clear picture. City average well over two points per game when he plays but dip below that level when he's missing.
|With Kompany 2013/14||Without Kompany 2013/14||With Kompany 2012/13||Without Kompany 2012/13|
|Goals Conceded Per Game||1.25||1||.88||.92|
|Form||Won 3, Lost 1||Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 2||Won 16, Drawn 7, Lost 3||Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 3|
|Points Per Game||2.25||1.66||2.11||1.91|
A major problem for City is that Kompany's replacements haven't been good enough. Matija Nastasic is an excellent young player who is likely to play a major part in City's future, but his performances have a tendency to dip slightly when Kompany isn't there to marshal the back four. The 20-year-old isn't a natural leader and appears much more confident alongside his captain.
Joleon Lescott has played five times in the league this season but has failed to produce his form of old, while Javi Garcia, a midfielder by trade, has filled in at centre-back on numerous occasions, consistently looking uncomfortable in that role.
The injury to new signing Martin Demichelis was a big blow for Manuel Pellegrini. He was signed to provide the experienced cover City badly need, but a knee ligament injury just days after signing for the club saw him miss six weeks. He returned for the defeat at Chelsea and has already played four games. He should improve as he settles in to English football.
City will be hoping that Maesschalck's prognosis is conservative, and that Kompany will be back in a Blue shirt as soon as possible.
Statistics provided by Squawka.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.