SOCCER - A.Klagenfurt vs Southampton, test match KLAGENFURT,AUSTRIA,18.JUL.22 - SOCCER - ADMIRAL Bundesliga, Premier League, SK Austria Klagenfurt vs FC Southampton, test match. Image shows a ball. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxSUIxSWE GEPAxpictures/xFlorianxMori

The Manchester City defender was removed in Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Real Madrid having missed five months with a knee injury.

Aymeric Laporte fears he’ll be missing for a couple of weeks after limping from Manchester City’s success over Real Madrid with a hamstring injury.

However, City haven’t yet set a timescale on a return for the French defender, who has missed five months of the year with a significant knee injury.

The 25-year-old looked tearful when he left the pitch at the 33rd minute of City’s 2-1 victory at Santiago Bernebeu on Wednesday night. Laporte signalled to the bench he couldn’t continue but managed to walk off the pitch to be replaced by Fernandinho.

The match in Madrid was his fourth since coming back from the knee injury but he was substituted in his three previous appearances, including at Leicester City on Saturday.

His absence will be a significant setback for Pep Guardiola, who explained as the “greatest left-sided defender on earth” after making his comeback against Sheffield United last month.

City haven’t conceded a goal when he’s been on the pitch this season but within 30 minutes of him being substituted, Isco had put the 13-times European champions ahead.

Laporte would miss Sunday’s Carabao Cup closing against Aston Villa in Addition to the Manchester derby and the next leg of the last-16 tie with Real at the Etihad Stadium.

City also face Premier League leaders Liverpool on April 5 and a possible Champions League quarter-final in these weeks if they could finish the work contrary to the Spanish giants.

Guardiola wouldn’t be drawn on the extent of the injury, after the match, just saying Laporte was hurt.

“He has had four or five months and it is an issue when you come back, and he came back into this demanding game, it is a shame,” the City boss said. “We dreamed of being with him until the end.

“Unfortunately, we have endured a lot in this section. However, with John [Stones], with Nico [Otamendi] and Fernandinho we will go through.”

The injury can be a blow to Laporte’s hopes of breaking into France’s national team squad before this summer’s European Championships.

Despite his outstanding form for the Premier League champions, he’s never won an international cap, though he had been called up by France boss Didier Deschamps days before his knee injury.

Raheem Sterling at least made his comeback from a hamstring strain in the win over Madrid as a second half replacement while Leroy Sane is pushing to become a part of Guardiola’s squad after missing the entire season with a cruciate knee injury.