Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola remains hopeful that Ilkay Gundogan's knee injury is "not serious" after revealing the physio and doctor suggested the initial signs show the midfielder's latest setback is "not a big issue."
The German international, who joined the Citizens from Borussia Dortmund last summer, suffered cruciate ligament damage during a match against Watford in December 2016, due to which he was forced to spend the last nine months on the sidelines.
Gundogan returned to training and made his first appearance when he came on as a substitute in City's 6-0 win over Watford on 16 September. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager then went on to hand the midfielder his first start against West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (20 September).
Claudio Yacob's tackle from behind in the 55th minute saw Gundogan signal to the bench to be substituted. He managed to walk off the pitch and Guardiola later admitted that the full extent of the injury will be revealed after further tests on Thursday (21 September).
"I think not serious, it's not eight months, but a little injury. Unfortunately, the action [tackle] was tough. He will be back soon, hopefully," Guardiola explained, as quoted by ESPN.
"Tomorrow [Thursday], he will take a test to see exactly what it is. The physio and doctor told me it's not big issue.
"I suffered for Gundogan, when he was on the grass, in that moment. You cannot imagine what it's like for eight months, every day alone or just with the physio, not in the locker room.
"In that moment, it was so tough but, of course, that's football. He was okay, he had a little bit of pain in his knee but tomorrow we are going to see and clarify what it is."
Leroy Sane's brace against Tony Pulis' side helped City beat West Brom 2-1 in the Carabao Cup. Guardiola's side will next host Wolverhampton Wanderers in a fourth round clash in October.