Manchester City are currently in the midst of their very own injury ‘crisis’ during the early stages of the campaign, with five players in doubt ahead of the weekend’s action.
Pep Guardiola and his players are currently competing on three fronts, with fixtures now coming twice a week and a fresh competition right around the corner, with Newcastle United awaiting in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
The clash against Eddie Howe’s side follows City’s opening game in the UEFA Champions League, and will be the club’s return to action following this weekend’s contest against Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium.
However, as the fixture list intensifies, Guardiola’s squad and list of available first-team stars continues to struggle, with five players’ availability ahead of the weekend’s Premier League action remaining largely in doubt.
Matters were only made worse this week when Bernardo Silva was forced into an early exit from action in the Champions League against Crvena zvezda, replaced by Jeremy Doku in the first-half having signalled to the bench.
Now, ahead of the next few Manchester City outings, here is a comprehensive overview of the latest state-of-play on the injury front, as the possibility of a further-reduced substitutes bench against Steve Cooper’s side increases in likeliness.
Kevin De Bruyne
While the Belgian is already understood to be taking on some very basic and light work in the gym at the City Football Academy, the Manchester City midfielder is not expected back in action any time soon.
After undergoing surgery following the hamstring injury he sustained on the opening night of the ongoing Premier League season, Kevin De Bruyne is expected to remain ruled out for the Treble winners until at least early 2024.
The versatile Manchester City central defender has registered just one appearance so far this season, completing the 90 minutes in the traditional curtain-raiser to the domestic season against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
While a hip injury was sustained ahead of the Premier League opener against Burnley, Stones reappeared among the substitutes for the Super Cup win over Sevilla, but sustained a fresh problem during training in Athens following the contest.
John Stones was originally expected back from injury after the recent international break, however it would now appear as though that timeframe is wide of the mark, and Pep Guardiola’s latest comments would confirm that belief.
Speaking after the win over Crvena zvezda on Tuesday night, the City manager said that the central defender was ruled out for ‘longer’ than expected, and ahead of the win over West Ham last weekend, he explained, “John is better, but still has issues.”
The Croatian could make a much-needed return to action for Manchester City this weekend, according to Pep Guardiola speaking after this week’s European win, following the back problem sustained while away on international duty this month.
However, at this stage it remains unknown as to whether the central midfielder has returned to on-field training with the rest of the first-team group, or just how close he is to reaching full match fitness.
National media in Croatia reported following the international break that Kovacic was suffering from a muscle injury in his back.
Grealish returned to full first-team Manchester City training on Thursday in a huge boost to Pep Guardiola and his selection dilemmas ahead of the visit of Nottingham Forest to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Guardiola had initially indicated on Tuesday night that the England forward could return to action anywhere from seven to 10 days, suggesting that the Carabao Cup contest against Newcastle United would be a more realistic target.
With that being said however, Grealish may certainly be required to boost squad numbers on Saturday, with Manchester City’s bench at the London Stadium against West Ham reduced to just eight including two goalkeepers.
Bernardo Silva added to Manchester City’s concerns on Tuesday night after he was substituted with an injury problem during the first-half of the 3-1 win over Crvena zvezda, replaced by Jeremy Doku.
While Pep Guardiola had initially indicated that the player could miss the “next games”, the City boss had not yet received notification from club medical staff on the player’s problem, and as such uncertainty remains.
According to Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News, Bernardo Silva’s injury will be assessed at Manchester City on Thursday. It is claimed that the early indications were that ‘the problem was not serious’ and he ‘may not be out for long at all’.
Pep Guardiola is expected to provide further updates on Manchester City’s five fitness concerns and various injuries when he faces the media for his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon ahead of the clash against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.
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