Throwing the world’s most expensive defender’s 2017-18 season in doubt, Manchester City on Friday announced that Benjamin Mendy has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
“Manchester City FC can confirm that Benjamin Mendy has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,” the club said in a statement.
City had signed the left-back for a world-record fee (for a defender) for £52 million in the summer from Monaco and the powerful Frenchman had settled well in Manchester and made the left-back slot his own with a series of impressive performances.
“After initial tests in Manchester at the start of the week, Benjamin travelled to Barcelona to see a specialist doctor, where further examinations of the knee today confirmed the extent of the injury” the statement added.
However, the 23-year-old Frenchman suffered a nasty-looking knee injury during City’s 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on the weekend and fans feared the worst as Mendy was immediately subbed off and soon seen trudging around in crutches.
City confirmed that Mendy would be undergoing an operation in the Catalan city but did not elaborate on how long the defender is expected to be missing in action.
The last high-profile footballer to suffer an ACL injury was Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede injured his knee in April and has been out of action since then and is expected to start playing towards the end of the year.
Usually, an ACL injury takes a minimum of nine months to heal which would mean Mendy will miss the entire 2017-18 season as his return to the pitch would realistically be around June 2018.
To make matters worse for Pep Guardiola and City, star striker Sergio Aguero has reportedly been involved in a car crash after attending a concert in Holland. The 29-year-old is said to have fractured his ribs and is looking at a one-month spell on the sidelines.
City, who are topping the Premier League with six games played have emerged as favourites to lift the league title but their credentials will get a stiff test when they visit defending champions Chelsea on Saturday.
Traveling without their top scorer and the only left-back in their squad is nowhere near ideal but the Sky Blues will have to make do with whatever personnel they have available, it seems.