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Guardiola confirms Stones missed Arsenal clash through injury

Pep Guardiola says John Stones was unavailable for Wednesday’s win over Arsenal because he was recovering from an ankle problem.

The 26-year-old returned to training with the rest if the squad three weeks ago, but suffered a setback within the first few days back at the CFA.

However, Guardiola says he is now close to full fitness and hinted he could be available for Monday’s game with Burnley.

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“I forgot to tell you, after the second or third training session, he had a problem in his ankle,” Guardiola said.

“He’s at the end now of his recovery - he was not available [for the Arsenal game].”

Meanwhile, Guardiola also reiterated his desire to rotate his squad in the coming weeks.

With City playing 10 Premier League games in a 40-day period – and with FA Cup and Champions League involvement on the horizon, too – maximising his squad will be vital in order to keep his players fresh.

And the boss laid down a challenge to his players, saying those who perform the best will be involved in the biggest games. 

“It was not a problem for the game against Arsenal,” he said.

“The players arrived fresh and no problems - just a lack of physical condition. To get physical condition you have to play minutes.

"The problem is when you start playing every two, three days. I wont change 11 players every time, but I will use the chance to make five subs for every game.

"And the best will be ready to play in the FA Cup if we are lucky to get past Newcastle and especially Real Madrid [in the Champions League]."

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