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Zabaleta out for at least a month: Manchester City

Manchester City’s Argentine full-back Pablo Zabaleta will be out of action for at least a month after injuring a knee in training, the club’s website (www.mcfc.co.uk) reported on Friday.

He could miss up to six games.

“It happened in training,” Zabaleta confirmed. “It’s the first time in 12 years of senior football that I’ve ever been injured like this so it’s a blow, especially at the start of the season.”

The injury leaves Bacary Sagna as City’s only senior right-back.

Left-back Gael Clichy and midfielder Fabian Delph returned to training this week, though it is not known if they will be considered for Sunday’s Premier League game at Everton.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini did say, however, that he would not be throwing in Zabaleta’s countryman, central defender Nicolas Otamendi, who was signed this week from Valencia.

“With the way we are playing at this moment it is impossible to move (Vincent) Kompany and (Eliaquim) Mangala from their best positions,” he told reporters.

“We are in a good moment, we haven’t conceded a goal in the last two games so we will continue playing in the same way.”

City go into the weekend top of the table on goal difference after winning both their opening games 3-0. A win away to Everton on Sunday would equal the club record of nine successive league victories, after finishing last season with six in a row to claim the runners-up spot behind Chelsea.

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