Renato Sanches is unlikely to feature for Swansea City again this season as he has not sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury, manager Carlos Carvalhal said.
The midfielder, on loan from Bayern Munich, has not played since the fourth-round FA Cup draw against Notts County on Jan. 27.
Sanches travelled to Bayern to continue his recovery in February and returned to Swansea on Tuesday, but Carvalhal said he still needs more recovery time in training in order to pass fit — and that’s not likely to happen with only five games remaining.
“He is back but is training with the physio, doing conditioning work,” Carvalhal said at a news conference on Thursday ahead of Swansea’s game at Manchester City. “It will be a week before he trains with the team, and next week, he can be involved, but he has had a lot of weeks away.”
Carvalhal said he hopes to have Sanches back for the final games against Southampton and Stoke City but that he is not optimistic.
“We may need him in the last week [because] we could have injuries,” Carvalhal said. “Expectations are low at this moment. That is all we can say. We are not at the beginning of the season. We are near the end. He has been out for three months and is not ready.”
Sanches, 20, moved to Bayern after he won the Golden Boy award and was voted best young player at Euro 2016, but a difficult season there led to his loan to Swansea, with whom he has made only 12 Premier League appearances.
Swansea are 17th in the table and are five points from safety.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.