Pep Guardiola gives John Stones injury return timeline | OneFootball

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·21 August 2023

Pep Guardiola gives John Stones injury return timeline

Article image:Pep Guardiola gives John Stones injury return timeline

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed he does not expect to see centre-back John Stones in action until after the September international break.

Stones played 90 minutes in the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal but has missed City's last three games in all competitions with a hip problem.

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After City's latest 1-0 victory over Newcastle United, Guardiola revealed Stones is still a few weeks away from being able to return.

"John will not be ready until after the international break," Guardiola revealed.

That means Stones, who has transitioned into a midfield role at club level, is likely to miss games against Sheffield United and Fulham, with the trip to West Ham United on 16 September a potential target for Stones.

While Mateo Kovacic has impressed alongside Rodri in City's midfield, Stones' absence could prove problematic for England manager Gareth Southgate.

The Three Lions have a European Qualifier against Ukraine on 9 September but Southgate will have to do without one of his preferred centre-backs in Stones.

Alongside Stones, Southgate faces a conundrum over the involvement of Harry Maguire. The Manchester United centre-back is normally a starter for his country but has not played a minute so far this season and Southgate has already admitted he cannot overlook the defender's lack of action forever.

Tyrone Mings is also out injured for England, meaning Southgate may turn to the likes of Lewis Dunk, Marc Guehi, Levi Colwill and Fikayo Tomori.

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