Manchester City defender John Stones has been ruled out through injury for up to five weeks.
Pep Guardiola has already come under fire and his team under defensive pressure through the injury of Aymeric Laporte.
Laporte is out until the new year after undergoing knee surgery. With the departure of Vincent Kompany and no reinforcements brought in during the transfer window. City were already thin on the ground in the defensive department.
This development with Stones now makes things even worse.
It is understood, Stones got injured during a training session in Ukraine, as City prepare for their opening Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The only recognised central defender on City’s books now is Nicolas Otamendi. After his nightmare at Norwich the other day, that will not fill Pep Guardiola and company with a whole lot of confidence.
This is perhaps the worst time of the season for an injury crisis, with the league now in full swing, the Champions League now underway and the Carabao Cup about to get in on the action too
England international Stones will most likely miss at least eleven games.
As many as eight league matches as well as at least two Champions League games and the first round of the Carabao cup.
In a statement on the Manchester City official website mancity.com manager, Pep Guardiola broke the news.
“John Stones was injured this morning, he will be out for a month – 4, 5 weeks. The Problem is muscular.”
“It’s a big challenge for me as a manager – it’s an incredible challenge with just one central defender, Nico [Otamendi].”
“But I believe a lot in the spirit, the commitment to step forward and solve this problem.”
“Fernandinho, and maybe Eric [Garcia] and Taylor [Harwood-Bellis] will come forward for the next few months.”
“What we will not do is complain they are not able to play. We have 11 players on the pitch and we make an extra effort. I like this challenge.”