Manchester City striker Erling Haaland will be sidelined until the end of January due to a foot injury, manager Pep Guardiola said.
City play Newcastle United in the Premier League later on Saturday, visit Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Jan. 26 before hosting Burnley in the league on Jan. 31.
Guardiola said he expects the 23-year-old Norwegian to return to training during their camp in Abu Dhabi next week.
“It’s the bone. It needs time,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of the trip to St. James’ Park.
“It’s fine, but the doctors decided to stop for one week and maybe restart in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully, at the end of this month, he’ll be ready. It was a little bit more than we expected in the beginning.”
Haaland, the joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah with 14 goals, has missed City’s last eight games in all competitions.
“We need him,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully he can come back and play the last four or five months without a problem.”
The City manager also said Swiss defender Manuel Akanji would be out of action until the end of the month but did have some positive news on Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgian set to return to the starting 11.
The 32-year-old, who suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of the season against Burnley, came on as a substitute in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield last weekend.
Guardiola gave a positive response when asked if the midfielder could start at Newcastle.
“Yes. From what I saw yesterday I feel really good, he was dynamic, and the minutes he played was better than the training sessions before the Huddersfield game.
“He is getting better now, he will have a few days off after this game and can train in Abu Dhabi to be better for the next few months,” he added.
City are third, five points behind leaders Liverpool, but Guardiola’s side have a game in hand and the manager still believes they can win a fourth consecutive league title.
“How many points left? 18 or 19 games … so obviously mathematically possible,” the manager said.
Newcastle are ninth, 11 points behind City, and come into the game on the back of three consecutive league defeats.