Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte could miss up to six months with a knee injury.
The 25-year old underwent surgery to repair the lateral cartilage in his right knee after picking up the injury in City's 4-0 Premier League win over Brighton prior to the international break.
It was initially thought Laporte would be out for the remainder of this year, but City boss Pep Guardiola was far more pessimistic when speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Norwich, "Long. Five or six months", Guardiola revealed about Laporte's expected absence, "January or February maybe, next year sure".
John Stones is ready to slot into Laporte's centre-half spot having missed City's last three games with a thigh injury.
"He's good", Guardiola said of the England defender, "He trained good and is in my thoughts."
Laporte's is the latest long-term injury to befall the defending Premier League champions. Leroy Sané remains out with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in the Community Shield win over Liverpool in August.
The German international winger was ruled out for the majority of the season, but Guardiola believes it's possible Sané could play before New Year's, "He’s back before the end of the season – December, January, February – could be perfect.
"The surgeon told me it was perfect. He’s here with us, making his rebab. Hopefully he comes back well and we’ll see."
Benjamin Mendy is nearing a return to first-team action with City following a metatarsal problem and successive knee injuries.
The French international wing-back has returned to training, but Guardiola says they must be patient with his re-introduction, "He’s good, he’s training and delighted.
"Last two weeks, three weeks he’s training and everything is going well.
"Knee’s reacting well so hopefully in the next few games he can be involved.
"With what happened in the last two seasons we want to be careful and be sure when he starts to play. One thing is training, the other is higher competition."
City go into the game at Carrow Road in 2nd position in the Premier League table, two points behind leaders Liverpool.