Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus is set to be sidelined until at least the middle of next month after he was withdrawn from Brazil’s squad to face Bolivia and Peru in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The nature of Jesus’ injury has not been disclosed, although the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) confirmed in a statement that City informed them of 23-year-old’s setback on Wednesday.
“The English team contacted the doctor of the Brazilian National Team, Rodrigo Lasmar, reporting the athlete’s injury detected after the game against Wolves on Monday in the Premier League,” the statement read.
Hertha Berlin forward Matheus Cunha has been added to Tite’s squad, earning a first senior call-up after top scoring for Brazil’s Under-23s in the CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament earlier this year.
Jesus completed the scoring in an impressive 3-1 win at Molineux and looked set for an extended run in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI, especially as Sergio Aguero continues his rehabilitation from meniscus surgery.
As it is, the City boss will now be without a specialist senior centre-forward for Sunday’s visit of Leicester City, with an EFL Cup tie at Burnley and a Premier League trip to Leeds United to negotiate before the international break that Jesus will miss.
Teenage striker Liam Delap marked his senior debut in Thursday’s cup tie against Bournemouth with a well-taken goal and gives Guardiola an intriguing option in up front, although it is more likely Raheem Sterling will revert to a central attacking role in the league, with Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne among the options who could be deployed as a false nine.
After overcoming Bournemouth 2-1, Guardiola bemoaned the fact he might only have 13 senior players fit to face Leicester.
Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko all returned from the previous international break with injuries and Nicolas Otamendi missed out in midweek due to “niggles”, although the Argentina centre-back has since been touted as a makeweight in a reported deal to bring Ruben Dias to City from Benfica.
Ilkay Gundogan contracted coronavirus last week and Aymeric Laporte is yet to feature this season having only recently returned to training after his own positive test for COVID-19.
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