Pep Guardiola has confirmed the 30-year-old’s condition is improving, but he is not fit enough to face the Gunners, who visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime.
The midfielder returned from EURO 2020 with an injury before making an 11-minute cameo off the bench on the opening day against Tottenham Hotspur, but has since suffered a setback and has been left out of the Belgium squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
“He is getting better but still is not fit,” Guardiola explained at his pre-match press conference.
Phil Foden is City’s only other expected absentee as he continues to recover from the injury he experienced whilst representing England this summer.
It is anticipated the youngster will be ready to return after the September international break.
This weekend’s fixture sees Guardiola pit his wits against Mikel Arteta, who left City to take charge of Arsenal in December 2019.
The North Londoners have endured a difficult start to the season, with a surprise defeat to newly promoted Brentford on the opening day followed by a 2-0 loss at home to Chelsea.
However, Guardiola is adamant it is too early to judge Arteta and insists his former assistant needs time to build a team at the Emirates Stadium.
“Two games. We have played two games, not 20 or 50,” added the City boss.
“Sometimes I think managers are crazy to do the job. They trust Mikel a lot because they spend money to reinforce the team.
“It’s just two games. Give more time to build what they want to build. People want success immediately, you need time.
“It doesn't matter what happens - it is an opinion we have here and everyone knows what we think about him.”