Pablo Zabaleta is cursing his luck after sustaining the same injury he suffered at exactly the same time last season.
The popular Argentine defender has had to with draw from his national team as a result after being called up last week – the only good news is he should be back training within 10 days.
“It happened against Juventus when I went in for a tackle in the corner,” he said from City's training camp in Abu Dhabi. “As I clashed with their player I got hit in the face, but it was odd because I felt something at the back of my leg.
“There was only 15 minutes to go till half-time and I thought I could make it through. I played on with a little pain but at the break, I had to tell the manager I didn’t think I could carry on – that’s why I didn’t appear for the second half.
The injury is exactly the same as one I picked up last year. It’s my right hamstring that I originally strained at Aston Villa was six games into the season, so lightning really has struck twice –it’s very strange
“The only good thing is that we have almost two weeks before our next game at Blackpool and I’m hoping to be available for that game. I think I need to do some specific work on my hamstring because I don’t want this injury to keep recurring.
“Maybe when I get back from Manchester and I’m fully fit I can look at some strengthening exercises.”
Zabaleta has clocked up an impressive 85 appearances for the Blues since joining from Espanyol and it’s taken time for the 25-year-old to catch the eye of the Argentina boss – hence his frustration at the timing of his set-back.
It’s not the first time he’s had to withdraw from the squad, either.
“It’s hard because I’ve not had to pull out of two or three squads for Argentina and it makes it all the more hard for me to establish myself in the national team,” he said.
“I had a really good chance of playing, too but that’s how things sometimes go in football – maybe I ran over a black cat or something!”