Starting the Manchester derby, Vincent Kompany last a whole 45 minutes before coming off injured.
In an all too recurring scene, the Belgian defender will now miss an undisclosed amount of time in a season where he was hoping he could get a series of game going to prove to Roberto Martinez he deserved to be on the plane to Russia in 2018.
With no return date set, there’s every chance this could be the last we see of the centre-back for a while, with his chances of representing his country next summer getting smaller and smaller.
In fact, over in Belgium, some are already starting to question whether he should even be considered altogether.
His former manager, Hugo Broos, who gave Kompany his debut as a 17-year-old at Anderlecht told Het Belang Van Limburg: “Again?! That’s what shot through my mind when I heard that he had to be sidelined against Manchester United. Was I surprised? No, not at all. It’s a recurring phenomenon. He is struggling from one injury to another.
“I think it should be throughly analysed whether it’s still worth taking him to the tournament, because you run the risk of losing a player after just one game. Is it worth the risk of leaving another at home so he can still play an important role in the dressing room as captain? No, if he’s injured, you have nothing left, do you?”
The idea of bringing in an experienced player to a tournament even if he can’t play isn’t exactly anything new, with Fabio Capello doing just that with England and David Beckham for the 2010 World Cup.
However, that was done via the former Manchester United star being a part of the Italian manager’s backroom staff, and Kompany would have to be ruled out of the competition entirely before that was even considered.
We’re not there yet, and there’s every chance the Manchester City defender will be fit to travel to Russia after a good run of games at the Etihad.
We just wouldn’t recommend holding your breath over it.