Stones joins Man City's growing injury list

AFP , Friday 29 Dec 2023

Pep Guardiola has confirmed John Stones has joined Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku on Manchester City's mounting injury list.

John Stones
Manchester City's English defender #05 John Stones receives medical treatment during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northwest England on December 27, 2023. Photo: AFP


Stones hobbled off during City's win over Everton at Goodison Park in midweek with an ankle injury.

City boss Guardiola said the England international, who plays in both defence and midfield, faces a short spell on the sidelines.

It is another blow to the Premier League champions as they prepare to face Sheffield United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Norway striker Haaland has still not returned to full training after six games out with a foot injury and the game is too soon for Belgium stars De Bruyne and Doku.

"Nothing has changed," responded Guardiola on Friday when asked about player availability.

"We have the same injuries plus John Stones."

United are bottom of the table, but they have produced some encouraging performances since Chris Wilder returned as manager.

After an unusually inconsistent spell, fourth placed City's win at Everton left them five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

With the title race heating up, Guardiola anticipates a difficult afternoon on Saturday despite the Blades' lowly position.

"Always in the past, we've had problems against Sheffield," he said.

"They made an incredible performance against Aston Villa. They were close to winning the game.

"It will be so, so tough, a bit like Crystal Palace. In the last games at home we couldn't get results, in terms of victories, so we will try to be focused on what we have to do."

The game will be City's last of 2023, a year in which they won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Asked to sum up the past 12 months, Guardiola gave an understated response.

"Not bad at all. Not bad. Could be better -- always -- but don't be greedy too much. It was really good," he said.

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