Gabriel Jesus facing lengthy spell on sidelines after MCL injury

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Down and out: Pep Guardiola consoles Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus suffered a medial collateral ligament injury in Sunday’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace.

Jesus is expected to face a lengthy period on the sidelines with scans expected to determine the extent of the injury within the coming days, the Premier League leaders announced on Monday evening.

The 20-year-old went off the pitch in tears at Selhurst Park after picking up the injury early in the first half.

There are now real fears Jesus could face a much longer time on the sidelines than had first been expected by City boss Pep Guardiola.

While the full extent of Jesus’ injury was yet to be ascertained, Guardiola had suggested he could be out for ”little more than a month”.

Mild MCL injuries tend to heal within three to six weeks but more severe issues could take up to 12 weeks to fully repair.

It is the latest injury blow for the Brazilian, who was forced to sit out for two months with a fractured metatarsal shortly after joining City last year.

And it comes at a bad time for City with Kevin De Bruyne also facing a spell on the sidelines after being injured in a foul by Jason Puncheon at Selhurst Park.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah named Arab Player of the Year

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Mohamed Salah was named Arab Player of the Year for 2017 on Monday in a poll of around 100 sports journalists from several Arab countries.

Salah, 25, has been an instant success at Liverpool since joining from AS Roma, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League already and 23 in all competitions.

He also helped Egypt to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Syrian winger Omar Khribin, who plays for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, came second and another Syrian player, Omar Al-Soma, of Saudi side Al Ahli, was third.

Salah is also favourite to win the African Player of the Year title which will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday.

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Pep Guardiola admits he's worried about Man City's fight on four fronts

Andy Hampson 31/12/2017
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Pep Guardiola admits even he is unsure how to juggle the demands of challenging in four competitions.

Guardiola’s Manchester City are enjoying a remarkable season, sitting with a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League – with a game in hand – and having eased into the last 16 of the Champions League.

They also face Bristol City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals in January after beginning their challenge in the FA Cup at home to Burnley next weekend.

Guardiola has proved throughout his career he can deliver, having won 21 trophies during his spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but this situation is a new test for him.

The City boss said: “I am worried about that. Four competitions – I don’t know if we will be able to do that.

“The schedule – you have to be careful. I am worried because we cannot play every three days.

“We cannot play Kevin De Bruyne every three days 80 minutes, 80 minutes. He needs to be refreshed to help in the last part of the season.

“I have never before been in this situation. Three competitions I have handled many times, but four never. And the fourth is double games (two legs), and extra time. We are going to see how we handle that situation.”

In City’s favour, however, is not only the form that has seen them lose just one of 29 games in all competitions, but a team spirit as good as anything Guardiola has experienced elsewhere.

The squad’s togetherness was in evidence after City’s recent derby victory over Manchester United, their late winner against Southampton last month and the Carabao Cup penalty shootout success at Leicester.

Guardiola says these celebrations are only part of the story, however.

Asked if the spirit compared favourably to Barca and Bayern, Guardiola said: “Definitely, and not just the team – the staff.

“Every day I say thank you for my physios and doctors – people like that. They are involved. They support, encourage the players and we all move forward. I cannot do it alone. They help me.

“The team spirit, people speak about how we celebrate the goals, that is simple to see but that is not the real situation where it happens. The real situations are how the players who are not playing celebrate, how they are warming up, how they are on the bench, in the locker room, every day, not just after the games.

“You can ask other managers when they have success, when they win titles. Always they have in common the group is strong. Not 11 players, the group.

“Everybody wants to win, everybody dreams to do that. When that happens everything can happen.”

City face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on New year’s Eve bidding to win their 19th Premier League game in succession.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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