Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany has been ruled out for up to four weeks due to a groin injury.

The Belgium international suffered the problem in Saturday's 3-1 win over Everton and is set to miss a number of crucial games in the coming weeks. Kompany was due to link up with the Belgium squad ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifying game in Croatia, but he has been forced to withdraw.

The 27-year-old, a key player in City's backline, could also miss Premier League games against West Ham , Chelsea and Newcastle , and the Champions League clash in CSKA Moscow. City suffered a shock defeat in Cardiff while Kompany was sidelined with a groin problem earlier this season and his absence will be a concern to manager Manuel Pellegrini after some erratic defensive displays by his team.

Serbian defender Matija Nastasic replaced Kompany at the weekend and is likely to deputize during his injury layoff.

Coming on the back of a league defeat by Aston Villa , it made victory in Saturday's clash very important for Pellegrini's side.

The Chilean said: "I was very pleased for a lot of things. We played the only unbeaten team in the Premier League and a team that plays very well with the ball so it was not an easy game. What happened last Wednesday always has a consequence physically and mentally on the team so that's why I am very pleased with the character the team showed."

It was a good performance from City, who went behind to Romelu Lukaku's goal but created a lot of good chances and scored three times through Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and a Tim Howard own goal. Negredo was named man of the match but David Silva was a key presence in midfield, with the Spaniard setting up Aguero for City's second. It was Silva's first start for more than a month after recovering from a thigh injury.

Pellegrini added: "David Silva is a very important player. He has quality, he played very, very well. I wasn't sure if he could play the 90 minutes."

James Milner, another standout performer, also praised the performance of Silva. The England midfielder told www.mcfc.co.uk : "I think we played well against Aston Villa but ended up losing the game but we didn't perform up to our standards in midweek. It was important to bounce back against Everton, who are a very strong team.

"It was great to have David Silva back, too. He's a top player and any team in the world would miss him.