Manuel Pellegrini has denied claims that Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is facing up to six more weeks on the sidelines with an ongoing calf issue. The 29-year-old has been restricted to only 12 appearances in all competitions so far this term and broke down just nine minutes into his first-team return against Sunderland on Boxing Day (26 December).
Despite the City boss confirming before the 2-2 draw at West Ham United on 23 January that he hoped to see Kompany begin working towards a comeback this week, a recent report from the Daily Mail claimed that the player was facing more than a month out of action after visiting multiple specialists. They further suggested he will need to allow the affected muscle to recover for at least three weeks and will not be able to join in with first-team training until March, even if the recovery process continues without any further hitches.
Addressing the club's injury situation at a press conference held ahead of the Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg tie against Everton, however, Pellegrini reiterated his expectation that the Belgium international will likely be back within a fortnight as he bids to stay fit for the Premier League title run-in.
"The injury situation is exactly the same," he was quoted as saying by City's official website. "[Eliaquim] Mangala, Kompany, [Aleksandar] Kolarov, [Wilfried] Bony and [Samir] Nasri are out.
"I don't think Vincent will be out for six weeks – he will return in a couple of weeks. As I said in the last press conference, it's very important how he improves in the next few weeks.
"We are doing all we can to review Vincent in different places with different doctors. I hope that now when he comes back he will be fit until the end of the season."
City welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium hoping to overturn a one-goal deficit after strikes from Ramiro Funes Mori and Romelu Lukaku gave Roberto Martinez's side a valuable 2-1 advantage earlier this month. City fielded a near full-strength side in the first leg on Merseyside, with only first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart rested in favour of deputy Willy Caballero.
The experienced Argentine retained his place for the FA Cup victory at Norwich City before reverting back to the' bench for the next three league matches, but Pellegrini confirmed that he will be given a chance to impress once again against both Everton and during the forthcoming trip to relegation favourites Aston Villa.
"Willy Caballero will start the next two games," he added. "I trust him a lot and feel Joe Hart has improved from working with him."