Pep Guardiola has provided an encouraging update on Erling Haaland’s recovery from a bone fracture injury over the last two months.
Manchester City’s star striker has been ruled out of action since late November, having sustained a mysterious problem in his foot that paved the way for Guardiola to somewhat reinvent and rethink his attacking format.
In the absence of Haaland, Argentine World Cup winner Julian Alvarez has been granted an extended opportunity to lead the line for the Premier League champions, while Phil Foden operates closely to the 23-year-old in-behind.
While City fans may have gotten use to temporary life without their superstar in attack, it may not be long until their number nine is back in the starting line-up having reached the end of his recovery process in the last few days.
Speaking to the media ahead of Manchester City’s trip to face Tottenham in north London on Friday night, Pep Guardiola was quizzed for an update on Erling Haaland’s lengthy recovery from a foot problem that has turned out to be far more serious than perhaps first perceived.
“It’s a bone (problem),” Guardiola began, when asked whether Manchester City would need to change their approach to managing Erling Haaland following injury problems at Borussia Dortmund prior to moving to the Etihad Stadium.
“At the end we thought it was a little bit less, but at the end it was a little bit of a fracture of the bone and the bone is not a muscular issue that you can do a little bit and come back a little bit (sooner). When you have this kind of injuries, it is a question of time.”
He continued, “If the people say between six to eight weeks, it’s between six to eight weeks! It’s not about as much as you work, as much you go to Abu Dhabi or don’t go to Abu Dhabi it will be short. The bone needs time to close, to make his procedure, and now he’s at the end, I think it will be eight weeks now, almost two months this weekend or next week.
“So it’s the process, he feels good, now he needs time to take the rhythm and we’ll start to give him minutes when he’ll be fit.”
On a more encouraging note for those desperate to see the Norwegian superstar back in action for Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has gone on to reveal that Haaland has not felt any pain in his foot over the last 10 days of training across Abu Dhabi and at the City Football Academy.
“In Abu Dhabi and here, in the last week or 10 days, he doesn’t feel anything. So that is a good way.
“When we came back, after two or three sessions, he felt a little bit of disturbance and that’s why we were a little bit cautious after we waited a lot of time, in December he could not play for a long time to try to avoid it, and now he feels good and now we give him three more or four days and hopefully in Burnley he can play some minutes, his first minutes, we will see.”
Manchester City travel to face Tottenham on Friday night prior to their return to action in the Premier League next week, with a trip to the capital for a place in the FA Cup fifth round up for grabs in a competition that formed part of a historic Treble last campaign.
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