Pep Guardiola confirms Man City defender will miss Liverpool clash & first month of the season
and live on Freeview channel 276
The centre-back didn’t travel on the club’s pre-season tour to America, with the reasons for his absence unexplained by the club.
But Guardiola has confirmed ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool that Laporte required surgery this summer following an injury he sustained at the back end of the 2021/22 campaign.
Laporte was withdrawn late on in wins over Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in May, but City’s lack of options at the back for the final games of the campaign meant Laporte had to play the full 90 in the final two games of the season against West Ham United and Aston Villa.
Yet the impact of that will be felt by the Blues over the next few weeks, as Guardiola confirmed on Friday.
“Laporte is injured. He had surgery after last season,” the Catalan revealed. “He played the last two, three games with an injury. He made an incredible effort but, of course, he could not continue to do that.
“He had surgery. So far he has done really well but we have to be careful because it is a knee. He needs time. I think August, he will be out, but maybe in September he will start to be with us. We will see.”
It means City have just three senior options at centre-back for the first few weeks of the season: Ruben Dias, John Stones and Nathan Ake.
It was Dias and Ake who started at the heart of defence in City’s final pre-season game - a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in Wisconsin - with Stones also not travelling to the US. Therefore, the aforementioned pair are expected to play against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
Ilkay Gudogan and Phil Foden were another pair not involved in the tour and are unlikely to start against Jurgen Klopp’s side, while Stefan Ortega Moreno, Kalvin Phillips, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland could make their competitive debuts for the club in the Community Shield.