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Gareth Southgate reveals ongoing dialogue with Manchester City medical staff over player’s fitness



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England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed the national team set-up are in constant dialogue with Manchester City staff over the recovery process of John Stones.

The central defender has missed the large share of the ongoing season through a multitude of fitness problems stemming from both prior to the start of the campaign, and a new issue sustained during the early moments of the schedule.

After featuring in the FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal in early August, Stones was part of the travelling contingent that won the UEFA Super Cup in Athens but sustained a muscular problem during the post-match training session in Greece.

As such, John Stones was only fit enough to make his next appearance in the recent 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in Premier League action, but has since joined up with the England squad ahead of their European Championship qualifier against Italy on Tuesday night.

Speaking to the media earlier this week, Gareth Southgate provided some insight into how both the England set-up and Manchester City themselves are managing the recovery towards full match fitness for John Stones.

Southgate explained, “We’re working closely with his club in terms of his recovery. He’s been out for a long time so we’ve got to keep assessing him.”

John Stones will almost certainly be crucial to Manchester City’s success this season, and will likely be called upon almost immediately should he come out of Tuesday night’s clash without any further issue.

City return to competitive club duties on Saturday afternoon as they play host to Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton & Hove Albion side at the Etihad Stadium, hoping to recovery from three successive defeats in domestic football.

Manchester City’s only victory in that run of poor form was in the UEFA Champions League, as they dismissed of RB Leipzig in Germany courtesy of a 1-3 scoreline at the Red Bull Arena, with Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez, and Jeremy Doku all on the scoresheet.