Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is facing the possibility of months on the sidelines due to a knee injury, according to manager Pep Guardiola.
The France international suffered the injury during City’s 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday and is set to travel to Barcelona to have the problem assessed by knee specialist Dr. Ramon Cugat.
Following his side’s 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, in which Fabian Delph deputized for Mendy at left-back, Guardiola was asked if he is likely to be without his £52-million signing for months and he replied: “Yeah. “The day after tomorrow he is traveling to Barcelona. We are going to see finally what he has.
“We will wait until Thursday but I am pretty sure it will be longer than we expected.”
The Spaniard compared Mendy’s plight with that of Ilkay Gundogan, who sustained knee ligament damage in December 2016, curtailing his first season at the club.
“It is really frustrating for him, first as a person, but like what happened with Ilkay Gundogan last year, I am sad for him,” Guardiola said of Mendy. “We will lose a lot. He is a unique player – the joy he gives inside and outside the pitch. It is a major setback.”
Delph received warm praise following his display of versatility, and Guardiola admitted he regretted not giving the Englishman more game time last season.
“He understands and he played an amazing game,” said Guardiola. “He is a midfield player, he is so clever. He did not miss one pass.
“I am so, so happy for him. Last year it was a regret for me that he did not play more minutes but now I think he is going to play more often and hopefully, he can have a good season.”