Manchester City received an injury boost on Thursday as Aymeric Laporte and Phil Foden were spotted in training.
The duo were among six City players who Pep Guardiola confirmed have picked up knocks this week, a concerning development ahead of the FA Cup final next week. Laporte was a surprise absentee from the City squad that travelled to Brighton & Hove Albion for the champions’ penultimate league match of the campaign, along with Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji and Jack Grealish, all of whom were in the matchday squad against Chelsea on Sunday.
While the injuries are not thought to be serious, it could impact the players’ momentum heading into the final at Wembley. Nathan Ake also was not involved against the Seagulls, although this was expected as the Dutchman has struggled with a hamstring injury over recent weeks.
To compound matters, John Stones and Foden were forced to come off in the second half after suffering knocks. “Yeah, [they] feel uncomfortable,” Pep Guardiola said after the game. “Phil, that is why we did a substitution after five minutes [in the second half]. John at the end feels tight and of course we have to be careful so the players arrive in the final as best as possible.”
But Laporte and Foden being spotted in City’s latest training gallery is welcome news ahead of the clash with Manchester United in the FA Cup final and the Champions League final against Inter Milan on 10 June. Before that, City face Brentford on Sunday in their final Premier League match of the campaign.
Laporte’s presence at training is particularly welcome news given City finished the game against Brighton without any fit centre-backs, and Kyle Walker and Rodri were forced to fill in at the heart of defence.
Guardiola is expected to give the latest fitness update on his squad during Friday’s pre-match press conference.