Manchester City will be without Kevin De Bruyne for a key trio of fixtures after their star playmaker tested positive for Covid-19 while away with Belgium on international duty.
The news was delivered by City boss Pep Guardiola on the eve of Everton’s visit to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.
The vaccinated De Bruyne is set to isolate for 10 days and will also crucially be absent on Wednesday night when City host Paris Saint-Germain in a crunch Champions League group clash.
City – who currently sit second and three points adrift of leaders Chelsea – return to top-flight action by entertaining high-flying West Ham next weekend.
De Bruyne will hope to be back in contention at the start of December, with Guardiola’s side scheduled to travel to Aston Villa before matches against Watford, RB Leipzig, Wolves and Leeds that lead into a busy festive period.
“Unfortunately Kevin tested positive for Covid in Belgium,” Guardiola told reporters at his pre-Everton press conference on Friday.
“We found out two days ago, he’s here. Forget about fitness and momentum, he’s positive, now he has to recover.
“We have to be careful, people are dying from Covid. He’s vaccinated so hopefully he will be okay.”