Pep Guardiola is hoping for good news on John Stones after the City defender suffered an ankle injury in our 3-1 win over Everton.

The England international has been unfortunate with injuries that have ruled him out for chunks of the season.

And he picked up another setback in our win at Goodison Park with the boss waiting for an assessment from the doctor after he was forced off in the first half.

“Hopefully the damage isn’t big and he can come back soon,” Guardiola said. “It’ll be less demanding, December has been tough with injuries but we are there [in the title race].”

The setback was more frustrating as it came as Stones chased Beto with the linesman correctly ruling the Everton defender offside once the attack had finished.

“I said to [fourth official] Anthony Taylor, it’s the same with [the handball rule]. You go to Europe and the Champions League it’s another hand,” Guardiola said.

“I don’t know. If it’s offside, it’s offside. If there’s doubts, okay, but now there’s an injury. They said ‘you’re right’, but what’s the situation?”

City were without Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku for our trip to Everton as they come back from their own injuries.


The Norwegian striker is not training with the first team yet but Guardiola hopes he won’t be out of action for too long.

“He’s training a lot but not with the team yet,” Pep said. “Kevin is with the team. Erling not yet but feels better.

“It’s not a stress or fracture but a question on when the pain will disappear. Hopefully [January].

“He has a stress, the bone is fit but painful. He’s not like Foden who is small and skinny, Erling is huge so it’s difficult at times.

“He’ll be fine, and when he is he’ll be back and play. The doctors come every morning and say ‘this player is available and this one is not’. Until then, I create the team and we play games.”

The City boss also says he will be careful De Bruyne and won’t rush the Belgian midfielder back to soon.

“He’s close but he had fatigue,” he added. “We have to be careful he’s been injured for three months like an ACL for six months, if you don’t handle the timings well, you get injured again.

“The injury was serious but he’s training with us. So positive and he’ll be back soon.

“I’d love him to play the next game or against Huddersfield but what is important is keeping him fit for a long time, not for one game or another.”