Just eight minutes into his comeback from injury, Vincent Kompany was injured again.
Manchester City’s skipper looked despondent as he limped off in the 70th minute of his team’s 4-1 Boxing Day win over Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium.
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Kompany, 29, had missed City’s last eight games in all competitions with a calf injury and with City 4-1 up and cruising, manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to throw the Belgian national team captain on and give him a run out for the final 30 minutes.
That lasted less than 10 minutes as Kompany appeared to fall awkwardly on his right leg as he stretched to make a tackle.
Following the game Pellegrini confirmed that Kompany had re-injured his troublesome calf.
“It is difficult to see what happened. We will see tomorrow,” Pellegrini said. “Yes, it is a calf. Nobody understands. He had a good warm up, he was working during the week with normality. It is difficult to understand. The most important thing is to understand why this happens. That is the most important to focus on now.”
So, just how important is Kompany’s fitness to City’s success?
In the eight Premier League games he has started this season, City have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just one goal. In the nine Premier League games Kompany has missed altogether this season, City have conceded 18 times and kept just one clean sheet.
Why did Pellegrini risk Kompany for the final 30 minutes when there was absolutely no need to bring him on? That’s the million dollar question as City’s skipper is becoming increasingly injury prone and City’s fans will now be praying it is not a major setback as their defense has looked lost without him.
Any major additional damage to Kompany will see City’s hopes of winning the PL take a nosedive.