Manchester City’s John Stones out with injury ‘for a while’

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expects John Stones to be sidelined “for a while” after he was forced off at half-time in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Young Boys.

City secured their place in the Champions League knockout round with victory over the Swiss champions at the Etihad Stadium, but Stones’ injury is a setback for games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur next month.

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“It’s muscular, he’ll be out for a while,” Guardiola told a news conference after the game. “It’s sad for him, he’s an incredible professional. It’s sad and bad news for us. I don’t know how long.”

Stones missed more than two months earlier in the season with a hip injury and Guardiola suggested the England defender suffered a recurrence of the same problem.

There was better news about Spanish coach Manuel Akanji, who was sidelined with a back spasm during the warm-up. Akanji is expected to be fit for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday, where Erling Haaland overcame an ankle injury to score twice against the Young Boys.

“I saw the training sessions, how he moved,” Guardiola said. “He feels good, so all right, he’s going to play. Now rest up for Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Young Boys coach Raphael Wike has revealed he plans to speak on camera with captain Muhammad Ali after he was caught swapping shirts with Haaland at half-time.

“I haven’t seen it, it’s news to me and I’m a little bit surprised by it at the moment,” Vicki said. “On the other hand, I don’t think it has anything to do with the game or the performance but I’ll probably have a word with him and see what he thinks.

“Maybe Erling asked him to swap, I don’t know!”

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