Pep Guardiola has dealt a blow with news that Manchester City could go six weeks without Ferran Torres.
The Spanish striker broke his foot while playing for Spain in the recent UEFA Nations League.
Torres started and scored two goals when Spain beat Euro 2020 winners Italy in the Nations League semi-finals before losing to France in the final.
Torres was substituted for Italy in the 49th minute after sustaining an injury in a tackle with Jorginho.
“I’m not sure what Ferran will be like,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique after the semi-finals. “He had one punch in the first half and another in the second half so we decided not to take any chances.”
However, he started in the final and played almost the entire game.
Target, corresponding Marca, Torres returned to Manchester for medical testing. And X-rays showed that the attacker had a small fracture in his right foot.
Guardiola will likely be mad at Spain if it appears Torres started the final with the problem.
The forward’s injury is expected to sideline him for at least a month.
The Premier League champions continue their title defense on Saturday at home against Burnley.
However, City have another six games over the next month, including the Manchester derby.
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Guardiola’s men actually have 11 games over the next six weeks. While Torres will almost certainly miss important games for Spain next month in order to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Torres has been used as a central striker by Guardiola this season following the departure of Sergio Agüero.
He has made four league starts and scored two goals but has been on the bench in the last three games.
Guardiola chose to use Jack Grealish and Phil Foden as the false nines. He has also used Raheem Sterling centrally and the recent injury could open the door to more playing time for the Englishman.
Sterling has only made two Premier League starts in this campaign. And while the center-forward is not his preferred position, he will surely welcome the opportunity for more minutes.
Guardiola will hope Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will return home safely from the Brazilian World Cup qualifier on Thursday evening.
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