France international Aymeric Laporte is expected to be out for three weeks to a month following a hamstring injury. This is according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Laporte sustained the injury during City’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League at the Bernabéu. The City defender will also miss the Carabao cup final against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Pep also said the 25-year-old will be missing in action during the Manchester Derby which will take place on March 8. The Etihad boss spoke on his disappointment of not having the center-back for the return leg against Real Madrid at Etihad on March 17 but had high hopes City will be able to make the next round.
Speaking on Laporte’s fitness, Guardiola said: “Hamstring injury, [the] prognosis is normally three weeks to one month, more or less. We tried to avoid it but unfortunately, it has happened. After four or five months, when you go directly at demanding games, sometimes it can happen.”
Guardiola has confirmed Leroy Sane is fit to make his return following an injury and will make his debut in a U23 game against Arsenal on Friday. Sane suffered an anterior cruciate ligament during a win over Liverpool in the preseason. The Etihad boss explained Sane’s reason for making his debut in the U23 stating he didn’t want to rush the German back to the first-team action just yet.
“I don’t want to put targets. We want to see the game, speak with him, and see how he felt against Arsenal. But it’s good” Guardiola said.
City is currently 22 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table and Guardiola faults the absence of Laporte and Sane not being available at the beginning of the season as a reason for the large gap.
“A manager needs the players. All the players are fantastic but the more alternatives you have, [you have] the rotation to be fresh” said Guardiola.
He added: “To be in all of them (competitions) you need a top talented squad and the manager depends absolutely, 100 percent on the quality of our players.”
Guardiola is in high hopes as he is looking forward to Sunday’s match against Villa and hoping to lift another Carabao cup.
“Being there again is a great achievement for us but of course we have to try to win it. The result of the last few days has passed, it’s gone. The focus is on the final, a different competition against a historic team. They have a Champions League [win] in their history. I think it will be a fantastic game” the Eithad boss said.