Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City are set to be without the services of Ilkay Gundogan for a long time following the midfielder's knee injury in his side's 2-0 win over Watford on 14 December.
The German international recovered from a dislocated knee, which he suffered while at his former club Borussia Dortmund. He limped off in tears just before the break at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Fernando replaced the 26-year-old in the 44th minute and the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager expressed his unhappiness after Gundogan suffered his latest injury setback. Guardiola and City will wait to find out the extent of his injury following further tests on Thursday.
"I'm so sad for Ilkay as it looks like we'll be without him for a long time — we will know more tomorrow but it doesn't look good," Guardiola said, as quoted by City's official website.
"We'll know the extent of the injury when he has been properly assessed by the doctor tomorrow so until then we cannot know for sure, but I think he may be out for some time. He is very sad, of course, as we all are."
City will host Arsenal in their next Premier League tie at the Etihad on 18 December. The Catalan manager is already without midfielder Fernandinho and striker Sergio Aguero as the duo are facing suspensions for the red cards they received during their 3-1 loss to Chelsea.
Gundogan's injury setback will be a blow for City for the upcoming tie against Arsene Wenger's side. Guardiola is likely to field Fernando and Yaya Toure in the central midfield position when they face Arsenal on Sunday.
The Citizens ended their two-match losing streak in the Premier League with a victory over Watford. The City manager was delighted with his side's performance and was impressed with Toure's display in their latest win.
"Yaya is an exceptional player and if he plays as he did today we are very happy for him - he can play as a defensive midfielder or further forward and he did very well this evening," the City boss explained.
"We are happy with the result, it was important to win this game against a well-organised Watford side All the team worked hard and it is good to get a clean sheet and all our defenders did well against Watford's tough, powerful strikers."