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Ilkay Gundogan escapes serious knee injury, Man City confirm

BIRMINGHAM -- Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been cleared of serious injury following tests on his left knee.

The midfielder hurt his knee in the 2-1 League Cup victory over West Bromwich Albion, as the Germany international was making his first start for City since recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out for nine months.

Gundogan was caught by a challenge from behind from West Brom's Claudio Yacob in the 55th minute and he immediately signalled to the bench that he was hurt. But he was able to walk from the pitch.

In a statement on their website on Thursday, City diagnosed the problem as a sprain, meaning the 26-year-old could soon be back in action.

"It is too early at this stage to give an exact time-frame on his absence but he is expected to be back on the training field in the coming days," the statement said.

On Wednesday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he hoped Gundogan's injury was not as bad as feared.

"I think not serious, it's not eight months, but a little injury. Unfortunately the action was tough. He will be back soon hopefully," Guardiola told a news conference.

"Tomorrow he will take a test to see exactly what it is. The physio and doctor told me it's not big issue.

"I suffered for Gundogan, when he was on the grass, in that moment. You cannot imagine what it's like for eight months, every day alone or just with the physio not in the locker room.

"In that moment it was so tough but of course that's football. He was OK, he had a little bit of pain in his knee but tomorrow we are going to see and clarify what it is."

Gundogan had looked impressive in a side that made eight changes from the team that won 6-0 at Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Leroy Sane had put them ahead in the third minute and scored the 77th minute winner to secure their place in the fourth round five minutes after Yacob had equalised.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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