Haaland to return for Manchester City after nearly two months out: Guardiola

AP , Tuesday 30 Jan 2024

Erling Haaland is available again for Manchester City after nearly two months out with a foot injury, manager Pep Guardiola said Tuesday.

File Photo: Manchester City s Erling Haaland, center, celebrates after scoring his side s 2nd goal during the group G Champions League soccer match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England. AP

The Norway striker will return to the squad for City’s English Premier League game at home to Burnley on Wednesday.

Guardiola didn’t say whether Haaland would start the match at Etihad Stadium.

“For the first time, he is back,” Guardiola said. “Two months out is a long time but he feels good ... apparently tomorrow he will be with all of us.”

The 23-year-old Haaland’s last game was at Aston Villa on Dec. 6, since when he has suffered with stress on the bone of his foot.

Guardiola has managed the minutes of Kevin De Bruyne since the playmaker’s return from his own long-term injury — a hamstring problem that required surgery and a five-month absence.

De Bruyne has made three straight appearances as a substitute but Guardiola said Haaland, the top scorer in the league last season, might not need to be eased back so carefully.

“One was muscular and surgery, he (Haaland) was stress on the bone, so it’s a completely different approach,” Guardiola said. “But of course, step by step.”

Guardiola also said defenders Manuel Akanji and John Stones were available after injuries and in contention for City, which is in second place in the standings and five points behind Liverpool having played one game fewer.

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