Pep Guardiola has hinted that Kyle Walker’s season could be over after the Manchester City right-back was ruled out of the next two games.
The England star was rumoured to have trained in secret ahead of the midweek game against Real Madrid, but he was not in the squad for that game.
Guardiola has already ruled him out of a return against Leeds on Saturday and he will not be fit for the return against Real at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
His absence has caused City a headache, but that should ease for the next two games, as Joao Cancelo — suspended for the Champions League game — can return to fill in at right-back, with Oleks Zinchenko or Nathan Ake playing at left-back.
But if Walker continues to be absent, it restricts Guardiola’s options with five Premier League games and the conclusion of the European campaign.
He damaged his ankle in the 0-0 draw at Atletico Madrid that booked City’s place in the semi-finals, nearly three weeks ago.
Guardiola confirmed Walker is certainly out for the visit to Elland Road and, when asked whether he could miss the final few weeks of the season as well, replied: “I don’t know right now. I’m not worried at all, he’s injured unfortunately for all of us and him especially. I must focus on the rest of the players.”
The good news is that John Stones, who limped out of the Real game in the first half and was replaced by Fernandinho, still has a chance to play in the Bernabeu second leg. He said “For tomorrow [Leeds] he’s out and we’ll see for Wednesday.”