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Manchester City injuries state-of-play on NINE first-team players ahead of Liverpool clash



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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City return to competitive club action this weekend following the final international break of 2023.

With a number of crunch clashes coming up over the next few weeks across different competitions, Guardiola will be requiring all elements of his relatively thin squad to be available should Manchester City wish to continue competing for all available trophies.

City return from the international break with a top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, as Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to the Etihad Stadium for a lunchtime kick-off in the top-flight.

That contest is followed up by a meeting with RB Leipzig in the Champions League as Manchester City look to secure top-spot, while the visit of Tottenham comes soon after in a third successive home clash for Guardiola and his players.

As Manchester City’s stars begin filtering back into the City Football Academy to step up preparations for the weekend, here is the very latest regarding all of the club’s fitness doubts following a turbulent few days in the medical department.

Ederson, Foot

The Manchester City goalkeeper sustained an injury during the second-half of the 4-4 draw with Chelsea, and while carrying on for the remainder of the contest, the problem was not worth the risk of aggravation in South America.

Brazil confirmed last Monday that despite having been called-up for action, Ederson would now withdraw from duties as a direct result of the injury to his left-foot, instead recovering in Manchester.

Potential return: Liverpool (H), 25 November

Nathan Ake, Knock

Details surrounding Nathan Ake’s ongoing fitness problem remain unknown after Pep Guardiola was not quizzed on the Dutchman’s absence prior to or after the 4-4 draw against Chelsea.

Following the Premier League match, that saw Ake absent from the travelling City squad, the Netherlands also confirmed that he would miss their matches during the ongoing international break.

Pep Guardiola could provide an update on the Dutchman with further details into the problem itself when he faces the media on Friday afternoon.

Potential return: Liverpool (H), 25 November

Sergio Gomez, Ankle

The Manchester City left-back was spotted arriving at the Etihad Stadium on crutches ahead of the club’s 6-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League earlier this month. Gomez sustained an ankle injury during a recent training session, and is expected back in training at some point after the ongoing international break.

The Spaniard underwent positive assessments on his ankle injury, and as such could put himself back into contention for matches throughout the upcoming hectic December fixture schedule.

Potential return: No return date

John Stones, Muscular

Pep Guardiola offered an update on John Stones’ injury problem ahead of the meeting with Chelsea, telling the media, “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 boss continued when pressed on further details around his latest setback, “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.”

Potential return: No return date

Kevin De Bruyne, Hamstring

Pep Guardiola recently delivered an in-depth update on the recovery of Kevin De Bruyne following his hamstring surgery in the summer, speaking to the media prior to the 4-4 draw with Chelsea.

“I spoke with him (Kevin De Bruyne) two days ago and he said, ‘I feel really good’,” Guardiola revealed. “But still he’s not training with us, not I think running much. I don’t know but I would say it’s the last time to start to come back to train with us.”

When further pressed on whether De Bruyne could return ‘soon’, Guardiola said, “I think, I don’t know, I would like to say in two weeks, one week, three weeks. But with these kind of injuries it’s better not to put pressure.”

“When he feels good and the doctors and physios say, ‘Ok, next step, next step’, he’s coming. Don’t put pressure. It’s like you say with John (Stones), recover. It’s not necessary to do the bad decisions or wrong decisions to come back earlier for days or weeks, and after back (injured) again. Kevin (De Bruyne) was a tough injury, was surgery, so step by step.”

Kevin De Bruyne is unlikely to be rushed back into match action, and the latest understanding is that Manchester City medical professional may hold him back from any intense work or match preparations until closer to Christmas and the Boxing Day trip to Everton.

Potential return: No return date

Mateo Kovacic, Quad

The Croatia international sustained a problem during the closing exchanges of Manchester City’s 4-4 draw with Chelsea, and was subsequently forced to withdraw from commitments with his country in the days that followed.

It has since emerged that Mateo Kovacic is likely to miss two to three weeks of action for Manchester City after suffering a recurrence of a quad injury, that according to the information of The Athletic’s Sam Lee.

Manchester City are expected to perform further tests and analysis on the Croatian in the coming days, however it seems likely that he is now set to miss home clashes against Liverpool and Tottenham in the Premier League, as well as RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

Potential return: Luton Town (A), 10 December

Matheus Nunes, Muscular

It was reported last week that Matheus Nunes had ‘presented muscle complaints’ to the Portuguese medical team after training on Tuesday, and had been absent from their subsequent sessions before leaving the national team camp.

A statement from the Portuguese Football Federation read, “Matheus Nunes was declared clinically unfit for the two games vs Liechtenstein and Iceland after tests. The player will no longer travel to Zurich this afternoon with the rest of the national delegation.”

Nunes is expected to now undergo further testing at the City Football Academy this week, while there is some expectation that the problem may not be too serious and not requiring longer-term recovery.

Potential return: Liverpool (H), 25 November

Rodri, Discomfort

The Manchester City defensive midfielder was absent from Spain’s clash with Cyprus last week after reporting a ‘discomfort’ to medical staff, with manager Luis de la Fuente opting not to risk the player in the contest.

Fortunately for Pep Guardiola and all those associated with the Etihad Stadium club, Rodri made a full return to Spain action on Sunday night, completing 86 minutes of action in a 3-1 victory over Georgia.

As such, Rodri is expected to be fully-fit for Manchester City’s meeting with Liverpool this weekend, and is set to return to the north-west of England in the coming days alongside the rest of his teammates.

Erling Haaland, Ankle

The Manchester City striker sustained a minor problem to his ankle during victory over the Faroe Islands last week, having featured in the contest from the substitutes bench in the second-half.

Speaking after the contest, Norway doctor Ola Sand explained, “He gets a slight twist in his ankle, where he is a bit vulnerable. It hurts a lot right away, and then it goes away pretty quickly. Then we’ll see tomorrow how he is then.”

Those comments were then followed up by words from national team head coach Stale Solbakken, who admitted, “I haven’t spoken to Erling, but I saw he was walking fine in the hallway. There is a recovery session, then he’ll probably be looked after by Ola and physios throughout the day. Right now it looks like it’s going well.”

In the days that followed, it was further confirmed that Erling Haaland would miss Norway’s clash with Scotland over the most recent weekend, with doctor Sand explaining, “The injury is not serious, but he is in so much pain and somewhat restricted function that the Scotland game unfortunately comes a little too early.”

Manchester City fans will however be pleased to understand that Erling Haaland is expected to be fully-fit for the weekend’s contest with Liverpool, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that the 23-year-old’s problem is ‘not serious’.

Potential return: Liverpool (H), 25 November