Manchester City are set to be without Kevin De Bruyne for three months but the Belgium midfielder does not require surgery on a lateral knee ligament injury.
De Bruyne was named City's Player of the Season as he starred in their record-breaking run to the Premier League title last term but his injury lands a significant early blow against Pep Guardiola's bid for back-to-back titles in England's top flight.
The 27-year-old sustained the setback during a training session on Wednesday and, following a visit to specialist Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona on Thursday, City have confirmed his diagnosis.
"Manchester City can confirm Kevin De Bruyne has suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion in his right knee," a club statement read, with De Bruyne having suffered a similar injury against Everton during the 2016 EFL Cup semi-final.
"No surgery is required and the midfielder is expected to be out for around three months."
We can confirm @DeBruyneKev has suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion in his right knee.— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 17, 2018
No surgery is required, and the midfielder is expected to be out for around three months.
Get well soon, KDB! #mancity pic.twitter.com/hozcvnF8BX
The timescale placed on De Bruyne's recovery means he will miss City's trip to Liverpool on October 7, with Jurgen Klopp's side the only team to beat them away from home in the Premier League last term and widely tipped to mount a title challenge this time around.
A scheduled trip to Tottenham later in the month would also appear to come too soon, while the November 11 derby at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester United represents a possible target for a high-profile return.
De Bruyne has proved a pivotal figure at City since his then club-record switch from Wolfsburg, with his influence only growing during Guardiola's tenure.
Since his debut in September 2015, he has supplied 43 assists in 91 Premier League stars, scoring 21 goals.
City launched their title defence with a 2-0 win at Arsenal last weekend on the back of beating Chelsea by the same scoreline in the Community Shield. Guardiola's men host Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
21 de septiembre 2018
|Thiem into St Petersburg quarters, but retiring Youzhny bows out|
20 de septiembre 2018
|Wigan clinch home semi-final with win over Huddersfield|
|Can apologises following sexism accusations|
|De Bruyne expects to be back for Manchester derby|
|Celtic 1 Rosenborg 0: Griffiths late show lifts Hoops|
|Woods eagles 18 to make 65 at Tour Championship|
|Arsenal 4 Vorskla 2: Aubameyang at the double in entertaining triumph|
|Dudelange 0 AC Milan 1: Deflected Higuain goal spares Gattuso´s blushes|
|Birthday boy Rashid inspires Afghanistan to Asia Cup win|
|Sarri feeling sorry for ´unlucky´ Morata|
|Ryder Cup pick Garcia shoots 66 at Portugal Masters|
|Ronaldo, Zidane, Cantona and the most infamous red cards|
|Villarreal 2 Rangers 2: Arfield and Lafferty steal point for Gerrard´s men|
|PAOK 0 Chelsea 1: Willian strikes as Morata misfires|
|Rain delays Ostapenko in Seoul, Wang books Guangzhou semi|
|Pochettino backs Kane to end goal drought|
|We figured it out - 76ers´ Markelle Fultz rebuilds jump shot|
|Joshua: Povetkin my second-toughest fight|
|Relaxed Pochettino not pushing panic button|
|Why Manchester City fans must fix their relationship with the Champions League|
|Majestic Giorgi ends Wozniacki´s reign in Tokyo|
|Pochettino unwilling to risk Alli fitness|
|Bigger Champions League tests to come, warns Pogba|
|Eight for 10! - Nadeem spins his way to world-record figures|
|A 4-1 lead cut to 3-2 by VAR, but Quakes have no complaints after Atlanta defeat|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Ronaldo|
|Joshua v Povetkin: Recapping AJ´s previous world title defences|
|Players told to ink twice over showing tattoos at Rugby World Cup in Japan|
|Mariano targeting Spain call-up after goalscoring Madrid return|
|Pandya, Axar and Thakur out of Asia Cup|
|England omit Cipriani, Tuilagi and Ashton called up|
|Can reacts to Ronaldo´s red card: We are not women|
|One Year to Go: Five Rugby World Cup debutants set to shine|
|Shy Osaka not comfortable with new-found fame|
|Belgium and World Cup winners France make FIFA rankings history|
|Ronaldo wanted to impress - Bernardeschi sympathises after Juve superstar´s red|
|Van Dijk warns Liverpool: Believe we can win trophies or stay home|
|Menezes complains of anti-Brazilian conspiracy after Dede´s VAR red|
|Diamondbacks rout Cubs to remain in postseason picture|
|Modric embraces Ballon d´Or chants as Di Francesco backs Madrid star for award|
|MLS Review: Martinez helps Atlanta stage comeback amid VAR controversy|
|Kerevi recommits to Wallabies, Reds|
|Lyon to ban fan for life after footage of Nazi salute emerges|
|Milan must respect opponents – Gattuso not underestimating Dudelange|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Zarate leads Boca, River draw|
|Mourinho: Dalot can play at Man United for more than 10 years|
|Johnson hoping to erase East Lake demons|
|´No question´ Fitzgerald faces Bears, says Cardinals´ Wilks|
|Rodgers says roughing the passer penalties are ´going the wrong direction´|
|Ravens fined $200,000 for violating communication policy|
|LeBron James set to star in ´Space Jam´ sequel|
|Ronaldo red card ´absurd´, says Pjanic|
|Kovac hails ´special´ Sanches after Bayern goal|
|Marcelino: Tearful Ronaldo said he did nothing wrong|
|Fernandinho takes blame for Man City´s Lyon loss|
|Lovren denies any wrongdoing after perjury charge|
|Plzen boss Vrba slams late mistakes|
|I almost scored as many as Messi - Tagliafico the unlikely hero for Ajax|
|Ronaldo deserves Ballon d´Or not Modric, says Casemiro|
|United fan Rafael - I´ve never lost at City|
|Davis explains abrupt mid-game NFL retirement: ´Football is not for me´|
|Lopes pays tribute to under-fire Lyon coach Genesio|
|Toulon´s Bastareaud handed five-week ban|
|Steelers WR Brown disciplined for missing meeting|
|Arteta refuses to make excuses for Manchester City´s Lyon loss|
|Allegri calls for VAR after Ronaldo´s contentious red card|
|Championship Review: Boro go second, Birmingham still winless|
|Lopetegui: Mariano took his chance|
|Juventus proved their quality after Ronaldo red card - Bonucci|
|Pogba ´class´ impresses Mourinho|