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“Hopefully in January” – Pep Guardiola provides double fitness update on Manchester City duo



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Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland are closing in on returns to first-team action, despite the latter being behind the Belgian in his process.

The attacking midfielder has been ruled out for the entirety of the first-half of the season, having only registered minutes for last season’s Treble winners against Burnley on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

That outing at Turf Moor saw De Bruyne withdrawn from action early due to a hamstring injury, and after surgery towards the end of August, City’s primary playmaking talent only returned to training with the first-team squad last week in Jeddah.

As for Erling Haaland, the Norway international striker has been ruled out for the last couple of weeks with a stress injury in his foot, and Manchester City’s precautionary approach to the player’s recovery process has led to an extended period away from action.

Speaking to the media ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, Pep Guardiola offered an update as to when his star striker could return to match action for the reigning Premier League champions.

On Erling Haaland, as relayed by Sam Lee, Guardiola explained, “Still he’s not with the (first) team. He feels better but he hasn’t made one training session with us. Hopefully in January he can come back (to training) with us.”

A further update was provided on Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgium international captain returning to first-team training last week, as he explained, “Last week he trained with us. Today he had a little bit of fatigue because he’s training hard.”

Manchester City take on Everton in their final away game of the 2023 calendar year, before returning to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the turn of the year with a clash against Sheffield United.

January’s fixture list – which could welcome back Haaland or De Bruyne – sees Manchester City embark on their defence of their FA Cup crown with a home tie against Huddersfield Town in the third round of the competition.