Manchester City could be forced to fast-track Eliaquim Mangala’s return to match-fitness, in the wake of a potentially frustrating injury picked up by club captain Vincent Kompany whilst on international duty, reports the Telegraph. The centre-back was forced out of training with the Belgium national side, after suffering a problem with his calf.
The player experienced an injury-hit campaign last year, and could be about to begin the 2014/15 season with similar difficulties. His latest concern is not thought to be too severe initially, but City would prefer to have their star man sent back to the Etihad sooner rather than later.
An initial scan is thought to have yielded positive results for Kompany, who has remained with his national side for now. The player could yet feature in Belgium’s upcoming fixtures, although he is not expected to play if the element of risk is deemed too high.
Either way, City are thought to be preparing Mangala for an earlier than envisaged introduction into the Premier League, as they anticipate a period of rest for Kompany. The problem for the Sky Blues is that the injury is currently out of their hands, meaning that they must trust the Belgian national side. The relationship between club and country managers is often a tense one, especially over this particular weekend of international fixtures – if injury strikes this early in the season, the results can be catastrophic.