Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte could be out of action for a month with a hamstring injury, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Laporte, who has made eight appearances in an injury-plagued season, looked devastated as he limped off the pitch in the first half of City's Champions League first leg win over Real Madrid on Wednesday.
"He has a hamstring injury, three weeks out more or less, a month," Guardiola told a news conference.
"Unfortunately this happens after four or five months out."
Laporte missed a large chunk of the first half of the campaign with a cruciate knee injury and was sorely missed by City, who trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by 22 points.
The match against Real Madrid was only his fourth game since undergoing a knee surgery in September.
"I imagine it's tough and you have to work hard. Life is not easy and always in the world the people who survive are the ones who cope with the bad moments," Guardiola added. "It is what it is. Accept it, work hard to come back as soon as possible."
In more positive news from the treatment room, Guardiola confirmed winger Leroy Sane will make his return from injury on Friday night in an Under-23 game against Arsenal.
Sane has not featured for City since suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Community Shield win over Liverpool in August.
"I don't want to put targets on him," he said. "We want him to see the game, speak with him, and see how he felt against Arsenal. But it's good."
City face Aston Villa in the League Cup final on Sunday as they look to win the trophy for a third consecutive season.
"It is so difficult to reach a final so being there again it is a great achievement. Hopefully for the fans we can win it," said Guardiola. "It is a different competition with a historic team. I think it will be a fantastic game."
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