Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is set to have a scan on Monday to discover the full extent of the groin injury he sustained in the 3-1 win against Everton on Saturday.
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City face an anxious wait to see how long they will be without Kompany, 27, who missed a month of the season after suffering another groin injury in the 4-0 win over Newcastle in August.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side will hope it is only a strain, rather than a tear, while the defender, who also captains Belgium, is set to miss his country’s last two World Cup qualifiers.
City could, though, be given a boost if Martin Demichelis is available for the trip to West Ham on October 19.
Demichelis, 32, was signed to be Kompany’s understudy in the summer but suffered a hamstring injury in training before he could make his debut.
However, the Argentina international is reportedly set to resume training, and Pellegrini told Manchester Evening News: “It’s too early to know if he will be ready after the international break -- maybe he will be.
“If Kompany and Demichelis are out we have only Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott, but they did very well. We have to be optimistic and see what happens in the international break.”
Nastasic and Lescott, who are both left-footed and naturally left-sided centre-backs, finished the win over Everton paired in the middle of the City defence after Kompany came off.
With Pellegrini reluctant to use Micah Richards as a centre-back, the only other option is to play midfielder Javi Garcia there.