According to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, John Stones will be out until after the international break owing to an injury, raising questions about the defender’s fitness for England’s Euro qualifier against Ukraine and friendlies with Scotland next month.
Stones, 29, missed the victories over Burnley, Sevilla, and Newcastle United due to a muscle issue he sustained during preseason practice.
Stones will be absent from the games against Sheffield United and Fulham planned for Sunday and September 2, respectively, due to the upcoming international break, which runs from September 4 to 12.
Adding to Guardiola’s injury woes is Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who will be out for at least four months after sustaining a hamstring injury in City’s 3-0 victory over Burnley in the Premier League season opener.
Guardiola stated that in the absence of key players, the rest of the team must step up.
“Everyone is going to be needed for this timetable and calendar. We must return in the same manner as the people (City supporters). After the international break, the stones will be ready, the Spaniard assured reporters.
The treble champions have lost significant players like Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who joined Saudi Pro League team Al-Ahli after leaving for a trophy-laden period.
Guardiola stated that “the club will have to take some important decisions about the squad” due to the unexpected departures and injuries after former City captain Ilkay Gundogan joined LaLiga powerhouse Barcelona.
Following a flawless start to the new season despite a busy schedule, Guardiola stated he is satisfied by his players after City defeated Sevilla on penalties to win their first UEFA Super Cup championship last week.
Guardiola continued, “We scored goals and didn’t give up many chances against Burnley or against Newcastle. We already have one title. We are six points from six.
“Rest, then play another game or try another one. Because the squad is so unique, you have that. If not, we would be unable to carry on as we have for so long. It’s not feasible.
“(The Newcastle game) amazed me and made me so happy because it’s still okay — we have to give it our all every day, and they have,” the author said. Really, really good describes it.