Manchester City and England international centre-back John Stones will be ruled out “for a while”, according to Pep Guardiola, following a fresh injury blow.
The 29-year-old has missed large portions of the ongoing campaign through fitness and injury problems, having only played in the FA Community Shield defeat to Arsenal in August prior to his latest run of match action.
Stones sustained a hamstring problem in Manchester City training that followed the UEFA Super Cup victory against Sevilla in Athens, ruling himself out of action for over a month and missing England international responsibilities.
While Stones has proven to be an integral cog in Manchester City’s wheel upon returning, supporters will be fearing the worst on Tuesday night following a fresh injury setback for the versatile centre-back.
Speaking after Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over BSC Young Boys to secure qualification to the UEFA Champions League knock-out stages, Pep Guardiola revealed the extent of John Stones’ latest injury problem.
Guardiola explained, “John (Stones) felt it again. I feel so sorry for him. It’s a big loss for us. John is so important for what he does. But recover and the season is long. He will be back stronger. I think he will be out for a while.”
In additional comments, the Manchester City boss revealed that John Stones’ injury setback was muscular in an update that is “bad news” for the first-team squad ahead of a crunch run of fixtures.
“It’s muscular, he will be a while out,” Guardiola continued. “It’s a pity for him; an incredible professional. It’s a pity and bad news for us.”
Stones was withdrawn at half-time of Manchester City’s 3-0 win over BSC Young Boys, with Nathan Ake – who has also struggled with fitness problems of his own – coming on to replace him for the second-half.
Manuel Akanji was a late withdrawal from the starting line-up at the Etihad Stadium, despite being originally named in the squad for the visit of the Swiss club. Kyle Walker took his place in the side starting at right-back.
Stones is now set to miss out on the weekend’s visit to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, and his latest setback throws his availability into doubt for follow-up meetings against the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham.
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