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No timeline on Vincent Kompany return from injury - Pep Guardiola

Kevin De Bruyne says he's more interested in winning trophies with Manchester City than chasing after personal accolades.
Kevin De Bruyne tells ESPN that for the moment the Manchester clubs are ahead in the title race but it's too early to count the others out.

MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola does not know when Vincent Kompany will be back fit, with the Manchester City captain definitely ruled out of Saturday's game against Burnley on Saturday.

The defender played City's first three matches of the season but has not played since picking up a calf strain playing in a World Cup qualifier for Belgium on Aug. 31.

Kompany, 31, has been troubled by persistent muscle injuries in the past few seasons, but Guardiola had hoped he would make a quick return from his latest setback.

However he has not been in the squad in any of City's last nine games and the manager is not putting a timescale on his return.

"He is not ready, not yet," Guardiola told a news conference. Asked when Kompany could be back, he added: "No. Everyone else is fit."

Sergio Aguero will come back into contention to face Burnley after recovering from the rib injury suffered in a car crash with the possibility of the two goals that will see him become the club's greatest-ever goal scorer.

"He was ready to start [against Napoli]," Guardiola confirmed. "I think the game against Stoke it was just one training session. He could have played but was not completely fit. But the game against Napoli he was ready and of course he is ready for tomorrow."

City have been in brilliant form this season to open up a two-point gap at the top of the Premier League over rivals Manchester United.

However, it was around this time last year that their title challenge began to falter with three successive home draws to Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough.

Vincent Kompany has not been able to make a quick return to fitness as Pep Guardiola had been hoping.

Guardiola is guarding against a similar situation this season and has warned about the dangers of Burnley, who have been in great form away this season -- winning at Chelsea and Everton and drawing at Tottenham and Liverpool.

"Last season they had problems to win away but in the first game at Stamford Bridge they took points and also then at Anfield against Tottenham then win with an amazing result at Goodison Park," he said.

"What they do, they do really well. They are masters in the channels, with long balls, the second balls, in set-pieces and defend well in the box.

"It's complicated to attack them because they are physically strong. We have to try to be dynamic, try to take advantage because when they score goals they defend really well and their results away are fantastic.

"I said many times last season we dropped a lot of points at home. That is the reason why we couldn't fight until the end with Chelsea and Tottenham. This season lately at home we are playing well and scoring goals."

Meanwhile, Guardiola said Benjamin Mendy still has a part to play in the squad despite being ruled out until around April with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The France international has a major social media presence supporting the team and Guardiola says he will be made to feel a part of the first-team squad despite his absence.

"Well usually long injuries players they are sad and train apart. Sometimes they feel isolated. But in the case of Mendy he decide to be present through social media," he said. "He calls his teammates, he sends 'Whatsapps' and even to me, we stay in touch.

"He is still in Barcelona but hopefully he can be back in Manchester. I said very many times he is important important inside pitch but very important outside the pitch. People like him make the atmosphere in the dressing room much better."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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