The Manchester City midfielder Vincent Kompany is scheduled for a foot operation that is certain to rule him out for the start of the Premier League campaign, the club have confirmed.
Kompany returned early from their training week in Bavaria and the manager, Mark Hughes,is resigned to losing his services to try to solve the problem of the Belgium international's nagging toe injury.
The midfielder endured painkilling injections and wore specially adapted boots in the second half of last season following his arrival from Hamburg.
Whilst Kompany was a key part of the team last season, if we are to mount a serious challenge on the top four during 2009/10, the loss of key players is something that we have to contend with. During 2008/09, when key players were missing, we did suffer and the squad at times looked very light indeed.
Now, we do look stronger in most areas and we should be able to absorb the loss of Kompany given the alternatives we have (particularly in midfield). The worry for Kompany is that should he miss significant playing time and we start the season well, he could go from potential captain to on the outside.