Back-to-back hat-tricks for Erling Haaland before the March international break took his goal tally for the 2022/23 season up to a measly 42.
There have genuinely been questions over whether the Norwegian machine is a help or hindrance to Pep Guardiola’s side this term, with City currently chasing Arsenal in the Premier League title race despite Haaland’s efficiency.
The striker’s set to break the league’s single-season scoring record when it’s all said and done, and many still believe he’ll end the campaign as a title-winner despite Arsenal’s healthy eight-point advantage heading into the break.
However, there’s a chance he might be absent for the start of City’s run-in due to injury.
Haaland seemingly picked up a groin problem in City’s 6-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals and has subsequently pulled out of the Norway squad for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Spain and Georgia.
Norway manager Stale Solbakken didn’t reveal much about the striker’s injury: “Erling took it hard when he realised that he could not fight for the team.
“Fortunately, there is still plenty of self-confidence, talent and cohesion in this group to win points in the next matches.”
Norway national team doctor Ola Sand, meanwhile, added: “After doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it for the games against Spain and Georgia. It is better that he receives medical follow-up at his club.”
While there are some concerns that Haaland could be set for a spell on the sidelines, many have questioned the legitimacy of the injury.
By missing Norway’s upcoming fixtures, the 22-year-old can enjoy a prolonged rest ahead of City’s run-in as they chase a third consecutive Premier League title. At this stage, the seriousness of Haaland’s injury is unknown.
The Citizens have a busy April and they return to action on the first of the month with a clash against Liverpool at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola’s side also take on Bayern Munich over two legs in the Champions League quarter-finals before they face Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Haaland risks missing all of these fixtures should his groin injury be serious.
The good news for Man City fans here is that Haaland does not have a history of missing many games through injury.
While he picks up knocks just like anyone else, the Norwegian tends to get over them quickly.
The bad news for Man City fans is Haaland does have history with a groin problem. Last season he missed six games for Dortmund in a six week absence due to the issue.
All will become clear in the coming days, but there will be some legitimate concern from Man City ahead of the crunch time in their season.