John Stones will miss Manchester City’s Premier League match at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday but the England defender could be back next week, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Stones has been out since he suffered a pre-season muscle injury, and City are also without midfielder Bernardo Silva and have Rodri serving a three-match ban while Kevin De Bruyne is long-term injured.
“He is better, much better,” Guardiola said of Stones. “He feels really good, training alone, but maybe next week or after Leipzig he will start.”
Holder City plays at RB Leipzig in the group stage of the Champions League on Wednesday before a trip to Arsenal in the Premier League on October 8.
City has a 100% record in the Premier League this season and is favourite for a seventh win in a row despite losing 1-0 to Newcastle United in the League Cup third round on Wednesday.
Guardiola said City would not be negatively affected by that defeat.
“You win games, you lose games. We were disappointed the day after, but now we focus on the next one,” he said.
Asked if the game was an easy one for the league leaders, the Spaniard replied with some sarcasm: “Normally, all the games we play are easy. If we don’t win the Premier League by 10 points in November it is a disaster.”
Guardiola said he had ‘incredible respect’ for Gary O’Neil’s side, which has already lost at home to second-placed Liverpool and third-placed Brighton & Hove Albion and is now in 16th place with four points.
“Always we struggle at Wolves,” he added.
On the competition for a place on the left wing between Jack Grealish, Jeremy Doku and Phil Foden, the manager said “The guys who compete better will have more chances to play. It has always been like that.”
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