Manchester City defender John Stones is facing the sack after picking up an injury against Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The England international was sent off at half-time at the Etihad Stadium.
Manager Pep Guardiola described the Stones’ loss as “very bad news” on a night when City secured their place in the last 16 for the 11th year in a row with an otherwise straightforward 3-0 win.
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Guardiola said: “He is muscular, he is injured, so he will have to be out for a while. It’s a pity for him because he is an incredible professional.
“He tried to do it, but it’s bad news for us. This is very bad news for tonight.”
The news comes as a further blow to Stones, who has already missed two months of the season with a hamstring problem.
Fellow defender Manuel Akanji also missed the game after suffering a blow to his back in training, but despite looking “75 years old” according to Guardiola, the manager added: “I hope it won’t be a big problem. and it will be ready by Sunday.”
One player who appeared unfazed was Erling Haaland, who shrugged off the ankle problem that prevented him from scoring two City goals in a one-sided clash with the Swiss champions on Saturday.
Phil Foden also scored as City won their fourth Group G game in a row to ensure progress with two games remaining.
Guardiola said of Haaland, who was substituted on the hour: “Yesterday we saw how he moved and how happy he was and he felt good. I said, “Okay, he’s so important to us too.”
“After the work was almost completed, he took a rest before the game against Chelsea on Sunday.”
Guardiola was pleased with his team’s achievement, but with RB Leipzig three points behind, he insisted he would not slow down until he finished top of the group.
He said: “We have already qualified, but the job is not done yet because we need to finish first. It is better to play the return match in the 1/8 finals at home than away, because we feel confident at home.
“You still have work to do, but the first step has been taken and I’m very impressed.”
It was a terrible night for Young Boys, who finished the game with 10 men after Sandro Lauper was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Coach Raphael Wicky said: “We are clearly not happy. We are not happy with the way we performed, but we know that it is very difficult to achieve anything here.
“We knew that if we wanted to get a point or a win, we needed a perfect game.
“I saw some good things in the first half, but defending against Manchester City is very difficult. They always have a chance.”