Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte will be out for up to six months after undergoing surgery on his right knee, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
French centre back Laporte damaged his cartilage and lateral meniscus in a challenge with Brighton and Hove Albion defender Adam Webster and was carried off in City's 4-0 league victory last month.
When asked how long Laporte will be out, Guardiola said: "Five months, six months. Next year sure, January or February."
Laporte made 35 league appearances during their title-winning campaign last term, with midfielder Bernardo Silva the only City outfield player to play more matches.
His injury leaves City with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones as central defenders, following Vincent Kompany's departure to become the player-manager at Anderlecht at the end of last season.
Guardiola confirmed Stones could feature at Norwich City on Saturday after recovering from a niggling thigh issue.