Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that defender John Stones will be out of action for a while, in a pre-match press conference.
The set-back comes just days after it was confirmed that Aymeric Laporte will face around six months on the sidelines through injury.
Stones may be able to return to the fold by the end of October. “John Stones, he picked up an injury this morning. Four, five weeks. A muscular problem,” he’s quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s a big challenge. For me as a manager, it’s an incredible challenge, with just one central defender, but I believe a lot.
“Something people don’t know is the spirit, commitment. Everybody makes a step forward to solve the problem. With ‘dinho, [Eric] Garcia and Taylor [Hartwood-Bellis], we will go for the next month.
“What we’re not going to do is complain. We have to make 11 player on the pitch, extra effort.”
Obviously, this will come as devastating news to City fans – and rightly so, with Laporte facing most of the season out injured.
The Sky Blues may be forced to field an inexperienced player in their coming games, and after their loss against Norwich, it’s fair to say Pep will be worried.
Still, our Premier League title rivals have the experienced Nicolas Otamendi to call upon for one of the junior members of the squad to play with.