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Pep Guardiola issues promising injury update on John Stones following Champions League withdrawal



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Manchester City are set to be without defender John Stones this weekend, Pep Guardiola has confirmed, but the injury may not be as serious as first feared.

The 29-year-old has featured in just six matches for Manchester City so far this season after a hamstring injury in training following the UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla ruled the defender out until October.

Stones has featured in four of Manchester City’s recent five wins, with the return of the Englishman helping Pep Guardiola’s side move back to the top of the Premier League table and register thumping wins over Manchester United, Bournemouth and BSC Young Boys.

The defender was however forced off at half-time against BSC Young Boys at the Etihad Stadium in midweek, and is set to miss Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea after suffering a fresh injury setback.

Stones, who’s evolutionary role has become key to Manchester City’s recent success, is a new headache for Pep Guardiola, as the Catalan continues to contend with the long-term absence of Kevin De Bruyne.

Manchester City are due to face three crucial Premier League clashes against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, as well as travelling to Saudi Arabia for the FIFA Club World Cup before Christmas.

While Stones is at risk of missing all of those upcoming fixtures, and was also not selected for Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming international break, Pep Guardiola issued a promising update on his versatile star.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s visit to Stamford Bridge, Pep Guardiola outlined the significance of the 29-year-old’s latest injury, and revealed a vague but somewhat promising timeline on his return to fitness.

“He’s injured. He’s not ready for Chelsea and we’ll see after the international break. I don’t know (if he’s ready for Liverpool),” the Manchester City manager explained to the media when quizzed on the defender.

Upon being further quizzed on the doctors’ initial assessment of John Stones’ latest setback, Pep Guardiola responded with a somewhat promising development, as he continued, “No, the doctor said to me it’s not as bad (as first thought), but I don’t know.

“When he’s going to be fit again, he’ll come back.”