Zabaleta confirms calf injury

Pablo Zabaleta has ruled himself out of the next three weeks after the Manchester City defender confirmed he has a calf tear.

Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta confirmed he is out of contention for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid with a calf injury.

The Argentina international was already under an injury cloud but confirmed the extent of the damage via Twitter on Tuesday, meaning he could be out for the rest of the season.

"Sadly after an MRI scan, I can confirm a muscle tear grade two in my left calf which is around three weeks off," Zabaleta tweeted from his official account.

Bacary Sagna did a fine job at right-back in Zabaleta's absence in the first leg, which finished in a 0-0 draw, and manager Manuel Pellegrini might just look at the Frenchman again.

Zabaleta started the weekend's league fixture against Southampton and played the full 90 minutes in a much poorer defensive effort, with City losing 4-2.

The Argentine has struggled with injuries all season, having made just 13 Premier League appearances and three in the Champions League.