City boss Roberto Mancini had expected both Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo to be available for Saturdays FA Cup third round test against Watford, a game which striker Sergio Aguero will also miss due to a hamstring injury.
However Mancini now has to deal with not having the Toure brothers available for as long as six weeks, while they represent the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations during a crucial time in City’s season.
The Citizens currently sit seven points adrift of bitter rivals Manchester United in the race to retain their Premier League crown, and face a tough away trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal in their next league game.
After a slow start to the season, Yaya Toure has recently begun to show the kind of form which he displayed last season. The powerful Ivorian has been an ever present in the City line up, playing virtually every minute of every league game so far this campaign, scoring four goals along the way.
And with summer signings Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell struggling to find their feet since arriving at the Etihad in the summer, Mancini looks short of reliable cover for his influential midfielder.