“More or less there” – Boost for Man City as Lillo says “brilliant” player set for injury return


Manchester City have been provided with an update on John Stones’ return from injury by assistant manager Juanma Lillo.

After playing the whole 90 minutes in the Community Shield against Arsenal, Stones is yet to feature for Man City in the Premier League this term as a result of a hip injury he sustained in pre-season, which means he will not be back until after the international break.

Pep Guardiola said the centre-back would not be able to play against Sheffield United or Fulham back in August, meaning assistant manager Lillo will probably have to make do without him today – although he is not exactly short of defensive options.

In quotes relayed by the Manchester Evening News, Lillo has now revealed that Manuel Akanji’s omission from the squad against Sheffield United was not a sign of anything serious, saying: “Manu’s problem was more prevention. He’s more or less there.”

Unfortunately for City, Kevin De Bruyne will be sidelined for a considerable amount of time, with Guardiola stating the Belgian will be a huge miss, despite the wide array of talent in the squad:

“It’s a serious injury. He will be out for a few months. The injury is a blow, a big loss. He has specific qualities. For a long time, [it] is really tough for us. We have to look forward. We have alternatives. Kevin is irreplaceable, but we have talented players. They will take it.”

However, there is some more good news for the Citizens on the injury front, with Phil Foden set to return, having “completely recovered” from his illness, while Stones also appears to have put his injury woes behind him.

Lillo said: “John [Stones] is more or less there, as well. We’re fine, we’re okay. It’s not decisive.”

In the report from the Manchester Evening News, it is speculated that the defender could even make his return today, despite Guardiola previously claiming he will be out of action until after the upcoming international break.

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