Pellegrini hints Kompany may face more time on sidelines
Manchester City are still unsure when captain Vincent Kompany will be fit to return to action.
The influential Belgium defender has made just 12 appearances this season due to calf injuries and was expected to be out until at least the end of January.
Now manager Manuel Pellegrini has conceded even that target date might be optimistic as the player undergoes analysis to try to get to the bottom of his persistent problems.
The 29-year-old's current lay-off is his 12th for a calf injury since the start of the title-winning 2011-12 campaign, and his third this season.
Asked if he could give an update on Kompany's progress at his latest press conference, Pellegrini said: "Not in this moment. It is difficult because Vincent is doing a lot of different things to try to understand and to find the reasons for so many injuries. At this moment it is difficult to tell you an update about that."
He later added: "Vincent maybe not so soon, but for the last part of the season he could be fit."
City's Barclays Premier League title challenge has suffered in Kompany's absence. Of the 11 games in which he has not featured, the team have kept just one clean sheet. When he has been on the field, they have only conceded once.
Now with Eliaquim Mangala also sidelined with a hamstring injury, City are looking short of central defensive options, but Pellegrini has no plans to sign cover during this month's transfer window.
City return to Barclays Premier League action tonight as they host Everton a week after they were beaten at Goodison Park in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.