Pep Guardiola confirmed Kevin De Bruyne will be out for “a few weeks” after being forced out of Manchester City’s opening-day win at Burnley.
City launched their defence of the Premier League title by cruising to a 3-0 win at newly-promoted Burnley as Erling Haaland struck twice in the first half before Rodri slammed home a third midway through the second.
Victory over former City captain Vincent Kompany’s Burnley was tainted by De Bruyne’s 23rd-minute withdrawal, with Guardiola revealing his talisman had injured the same hamstring that had kept him out at the end of last season.
Guardiola said: “Hamstring again. Same position. It depends on the magnitude of the injury, but will be a few weeks out.”
De Bruyne returned from a similar problem in time to start in the Champions League final in June but lasted only 36 minutes.
Asked if the Belgium midfielder had returned too soon to start against Burnley, Guardiola said: “Maybe. Maybe it was my mistake, but when he is injured after 15-20 minutes it is not something wrong, when it is 65 it is the fatigue of the muscle.
“We have to talk with the doctors and him. He was one year a long time injured, he came back from that position.
“He is down. He fought a lot. The final of the Champions League. He felt really good. I prefer to start and make 50-55 minutes. He is disappointed, but he is strong and will be back.”
Guardiola appeared to be involved in a furious bust-up with Haaland as the players left the pitch at half-time and the Spaniard explained why both were so animated.
He added: “We discuss a lot. Erling wanted the ball immediately and Bernardo (Silva) don’t give it, it was one minute left and 0-2.
“A minute earlier (the ball went) to Mateo Kovacic and we lost it. We have to finish at 0-2 and go to the second. I understand Erling, he wanted the ball, but Bernardo took the right decision.”
Kompany, who won four Premier League titles at City, steered Burnley to the Sky Bet Championship title in his first season in charge and handed five summer signings their debuts.
The Belgian said his new-look side will only get better and there were positives to take from their performance.
He said: “It is progress again. This team has to be the worst it is ever going to be this season, at this moment in time.
“You want to get a result, that is a given, but there are other things which create a foundation for the season – tackling, pressing, running at defenders one-on-one.”
Second-half substitute Anass Zaroury was sent off in the closing stages after his yellow card for a challenge on Kyle Walker was changed to a red after referee Craig Pawson watched a replay on the pitch-side moniter.
Kompany added: “The crowd has always been behind us. I wish we could’ve turned the momentum again in the last 20 minutes and created some more danger, but with the red card the game kind of settled.
“We had enough today to get something. I am not saying a result, but to get on the score sheet.”