Pep Guardiola has confirmed John Stones will miss Sunday’s Manchester derby due to a hamstring injury.
It was initially feared the injury would be a long-term issue for Stones but speaking ahead of Sunday’s derby, Guardiola said he should be back in the next few weeks.
“No I think it will not be five, six weeks; it will be less,” said the City boss. “Normally a hamstring can be between four to six weeks. I said I don’t know when he will come back but I think maybe 10 days, two weeks maybe.”
Guardiola also confirmed Aymeric Laporte is back in contention after he’s been recovering from undergoing surgery in the summer, but the Catalan failed to be drawn on whether the Manchester United clash will come too quickly for Laporte.
“He has trained really well. He has been training alone these days because everyone is in the national team. But yesterday and today he feels good,” explained Guardiola.
“A long time he is injured. The important thing we are seeing in the training session is he is moving well and his ability with the pass is exceptional.
“It is important to come back but this crazy schedule everyone has, another player [back] is so important. And for him as well, to come back.”
Another player who recently had surgery is Kalvin Phillips. Guardiola revealed prior to the international break that the former Leeds United midfielder was likely to receive treatment on a recurring shoulder issue.
Speaking ahead of the derby, the City boss explained that the operation went well and said there is a chance he could be available for the World Cup.
“He is feeling good. The surgery was really good he has almost all [movement back]. Yesterday I spoke with him. The mobility is getting better. It is really good. He took the right decision, otherwise he could not move forward.
“Every training session, every two or three times it was out. Now it’s solved this problem and as soon as he is ready he can come back and hopefully get in time to go to the World Cup and after the World Cup come back with us.”
As for United, Erik ten Hag said in his pre-match briefing that Harry Maguire will miss the derby through injury while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial remain doubts after only recently returning to training.