Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany faces up to a month on the sidelines after suffering a thigh strain, according to Belgium coach Marc Wilmots.
Wilmots also said that Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini will be fit for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Tuesday while Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke could potentially face Wales on Tuesday.
A video on City’s official website later reported: “The results confirm a thigh strain, although there’s no indication as to how long the defender will be out for.”
Wilmots’ Twitter feed confirmed on Monday that the centre-back would play no part in either the Croatia or the Wales game.
According to Sky Sports News, Wilmots then revealed that the injury would likely keep him out of action for up to four weeks.
There was better news on Fellaini, who requires surgery on his wrist but will be available for both matches as Wilmots said it would be "adequately supported" by a brace. The Belgian FA’s Twitter feed said he, along with Zenit St Petersburg duo Axel Witsel and Nicolas Lombaerts, will join training on Tuesday morning, having missed Monday’s session.
Fellaini, Witsel en Lombaerts rejoindront le groupe demain #crobel— Belgianfootball (@Belgianfootball) October 7, 2013
Wilmots explained: “Marouane has suffered a wrist ligament injury and will have to undergo surgery. He will join the group later and use a splint.
“As far as I’m concerned, he is in principle able to play on Friday. That does not mean that he will automatically play. I also haven’t heard from Manchester United asking for him to be operated on as soon as possible.”
Benteke, meanwhile, will play no part in the game against Croatia as Belgium look to book their place in Brazil next summer. However, he may be available for Tuesday’s game against Wales, Wilmots said, should they fail to qualify on Friday.
He added at his news conference: "We have always had good alternatives and that remains the case."
Villa manager Paul Lambert had earlier expressed concern that Benteke has been called up to the squad despite his hip injury.