Leroy Sane is facing around seven months on the sidelines with his anterior cruciate ligament injury, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
The Germany international was forced off after just 13 minutes of the Community Shield clash with Liverpool at Wembley last Sunday after a challenge with Trent Alexander-Arnold.
City confirmed this week that Sane will require surgery on his right ACL, although the club did not put a time frame on his recovery.
Guardiola, though, does not expect the winger to be available until at least February next year.
When asked if he had an estimate on Sane’s recovery time, Guardiola said: “No, I don’t know. I’m not a doctor or physio. Normally this type of injury is six, seven months; hopefully February, March he can come back with us.”
Sane has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich, with head coach Niko Kovac even forced to apologise in July for publicly stating he was confident of a deal for the former Schalke star.
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic refused to say whether Sane’s injury meant Bayern’s interest in the player was over on Thursday.
Guardiola, for his part, has few doubts over Sane’s future and is simply frustrated to see another of his players struck down by an ACL problem, with Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy each having suffered similar injuries during his City tenure.
“I didn’t think about him leaving,” he said. The player didn’t tell me ‘I want to leave’. I always thought he was our player. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly bad news because in three seasons we had three ACL [injuries].
“He is a young player. He will hopefully recover well. He’s in the best hands possible. The people here will try to help him.”