Pep Guardiola has said it is uncertain whether Gabriel Jesus can return for Manchester City this season after the forward underwent an operation on the broken bone in his foot.
Gabriel fractured a metatarsal in his right foot during City’s 2-0 win at Bournemouth and is expected to be ruled out for between eight and 12 weeks.
The 19-year-old had an operation in Barcelona on Thursday and, asked at a news conference whether he might play again this season, Guardiola indicated that was possible, saying: “Last night he had an operation — it was good, really good.
“The most important thing now is a good recovery and going back when he is fit — I don’t know if it will be the end of the season or next season.
“Now we need to be calm and give all our support to him and his family and wait for when he is coming back.”
Gabriel had made a big impact at the Etihad Stadium since completing a £27 million move from Palmeiras in January.
He started City’s last three games, scoring three goals, with Sergio Aguero relegated to the substitutes’ bench.
Aguero is now set for an extended run in the side and Guardiola said: “Sergio has to do what he’s done all his career, nothing more. Every player has his own quality. He has to show it.
“I’m not saying to Sergio: ‘You have to do what Gabriel did.’ Just go there and play as best as possible.
“They both have their own qualities. With both, we are a stronger team and now I have an unlucky situation with Gabriel.
“I don’t have doubts about his [Aguero’s] quality — that has always been there.”