David Silva Reveals Premature Birth of Son Behind Absence: 'He's Fighting Day By Day'

David Silva has revealed the reason for his absence from the Manchester City squad is down to the premature birth of his son who is "fighting day by day."

Silva returned to action for City on Tuesday (January 2) after missing the goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Sunday due to personal reasons. But City manager Pep Guardiola said he expected the Spaniard's return to be short.

"Family is most important," Guardiola said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "You can see how essential David is to us but I don't know how long he will be here.

"He is free to go [home] again if he needs to. It doesn't matter if we get no points while he is away. Family is most important."

And on Wednesday Silva posted via his Twitter account the reason for his absence, thanking Manchester City for the support and revealing his situation.

"I want to thank all of you for the love and good wishes received in the last few weeks, special thanks to my team mates, the manager and all at the club for understanding my situation," Silva wrote.

"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 has proven to be City's most influential player this season, despite playing alongside the rising talent of Kevin de Bruyne. City have not dropped points when Silva has been playing since August 21, which includes 22 games.

He was not in the squad for the 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk at the beginning of December, the final game of the Champions League group stages, nor the 1-1 draw with Leicester City in the League Cup—City went on to win the game on penalties.

Guardiola's team are capable of managing without Silva for the time being, as they have a 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after Tuesday's win.

But now they have a break from league action as City face Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday before taking on Bristol City in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal on January 9.

Anfield is the venue for their next league game on January 14 with Liverpool looking to maintain a hold on a top-four position.