Manchester City midfielder Rodri has reportedly been ruled out until after the next international break in November, meaning he is likely to miss the crucial visit to Liverpool in two weeks' time.
The 23-year-old, signed from Atletico Madrid for £60m in the summer, found himsel at the heart of the defence against Atalanta due to the prolonged absence of Aymeric Laporte giving Pep Guardiola a selection conundrum.
But while things were far from ideal going into the Champions League clash, they were even worse by half-time, after the Spaniard was forced off shortly before the break, clutching his hamstring.
England defender John Stones was called upon to take his place, but while City would run out 5-1 winners, there was a feeling of concern that they may have to do without yet another key player for a busy run of fixtures.
And in a cruel twist of fate, after initial signs suggested he could be back for the return trip to Italy on November 6th, the BBC's Simon Stone reports he is now likely to be out until City's clash with Chelsea on November 23rd - and will miss the potentially defining visit to Anfield.
Pep confirms Zinchenko out for 5/6 weeks. Rodri back after next international break.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) October 25, 2019
They will also be without Oleksandr Zinchenko for the next five weeks, as the Ukrainian left-back underwent surgery on a knee injury that will keep him out into December.
City will be hoping to keep up the pace between now and their trip to Merseyside in a fortnight, and have the visits of Aston Villa and Southampton in the league to contend with between now and then - fixtures now looking a touch more complicated by their growing injury crisis.
Liverpool, meanwhile, host Tottenham before travelling to Villa ahead of the top-of-the-league encounter, and will know the value of keeping as much distance between themselves and their closest challengers as their showdown looms on the horizon.