John Stones’ impending absence from play until after the international break has dealt Manchester City another injury blow.
Stones has missed both of City’s Premier League matches against Burnley and Newcastle as he struggles to recover from a hip ailment sustained in preseason.
He sat on the bench for their Super Cup victory over Sevilla on penalties, and it appears he will be sidelined for at least another three weeks.
The 29-year-old will now be absent from City’s upcoming Premier League matches against Fulham on September 2 and Sheffield United on August 27.
This comes before the international break, which runs from September 4 to September 12. During that time, England plays Scotland in a friendly and Ukraine in a European qualifying match.
In the course of City’s unprecedented Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League treble last season, Stones made a total of 34 appearances for the team in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola’s selection problems are made worse by Stones’ absence, while Kevin De Bruyne is also out for a few months after aggravating a hamstring injury.
Guardiola stated at the time: “First and foremost, you have to say it’s a blow for us, a major loss. For a long time, it’s incredibly difficult to lose certain attributes that Kevin possesses, but you can lose them for one game or two.
Although Kevin is irreplaceable, we do have other good players who have been given a chance, and I’m confident they will seize it. “But at the same time, you have to look forward,” said the coach.
After starting their season with victories over Burnley and Newcastle by scores of 3-0 and 1-0, respectively, the injury issues have not significantly hindered City thus far.
Between those two games and the Super Cup victory over Sevilla, City is currently ranked second in the Premier League, trailing Brighton on goal differential.