Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic sustained an ankle injury on a rain sodden pitch in Hong Kong as City lifted the Asia Trophy after beating Sunderland 1-0.
Heavy rain for several days had already made the Hong Kong Stadium surface heavy, prompting criticism from beaten finalists Sunderland’s boss Paolo Di Canio who bemoaned the “killer pitch” while Manchester United manager David Moyes was also critical of conditions and cancelled an open training session in the stadium ahead of United’s game against Kitchee FC on Monday.
Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen already faces a race to be fit for the start of the season after injuring his ankle in the same stadium three days ago in a 3-1 defeat against Sunderland.
With three weeks to go until the season starts City’s doctors will be assessing the damage to Nastasic but City manager Manuel Pellegrini refused to blame the playing surface.
“It is part of the game and could have happened on any pitch,” he said.
“We are concerned but it is better to wait. He received a kick to his ankle and the doctor is seeing what it could be, but it is impossible for him to know.
“The doctor needs to see him when we arrive in Manchester and then we can know what has happened.”