Sports, Football

Stones out until September with injury: Guardiola

By Reuters
Published : 21 Aug 2023 09:35 PM | Updated : 21 Aug 2023 09:35 PM

John Stones will be out of action until after the international break due to an injury, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said, casting doubt on the defender’s availability for England’s Euro qualifier against Ukraine and friendly with Scotland next month.

Stones, 29, suffered a muscle injury during pre-season training and did not feature in wins over Burnley, Sevilla, and Newcastle United.

The next international break is from Sep. 4-12, and Stones is set to miss the games against Sheffield United and Fulham scheduled on Sunday and Sep. 2, respectively.

Guardiola is facing additional injury concerns, with Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne sidelined for at least four months after suffering a hamstring injury during City’s 3-0 win over Burnley in the opening game of the Premier League season.

Guardiola said he needs the remaining squad to step-up in the absence of key players. “We will need everyone for this schedule and calendar. We have to come back how the people (City fans) come back. Stones will not be ready until after the international break,” the Spaniard told reporters. The treble winners have lost influential players such as Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who left after a trophy-laden spell to join Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli.

Former City captain Ilkay Gundogan also joined LaLiga giants Barcelona, and Guardiola said "the club will have to take some important decisions about the squad" due to the unexpected exits and injuries.