Silva's Manchester City absence due to premature birth of baby son

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The midfielder returned to a hero's welcome against Watford, and has now revealed the reason for his absence

Manchester City midfielder David Silva has missed three Premier League games over recent weeks due to the premature birth of his son.

Silva was afforded a hero's reception and put in a man-of-the-match performance when he returned to the City side for Tuesday's 3-1 win over Watford, although manager Pep Guardiola said after the match the Spain playmaker could miss upcoming fixtures because "family is the most important thing in life".

City have not disclosed any details regarding Silva's situation since his initial absence for the 4-1 victory against Tottenham last month, but the 31-year-old has now issued a statement via Twitter, detailing how his son, Mateo, is still receiving medical attention and "fighting day by day".

"I want to thank all of you for the love and good wishes received in the last few weeks, [with] special thanks to my team-mates, the manager and all at the club for understanding my situation," the statement read

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"Also. I want to share with you the birth of my son, Mateo, who was born extremely preterm and is fighting day by day with the help of the medical team."

Silva signed a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium in November and has five goals and eight assists in 19 top-flight appearances this season, helping City to establish a dominant 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

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