Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expects Aymeric Laporte to be out for “three weeks to a month” with a hamstring injury.
Laporte sustained the injury in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League and will now miss the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
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The France international is unlikely to feature in the Manchester derby on March 8 and is also a doubt for the return leg against Madrid at the Etihad on March 17.
A Villa vs Man City
March 1, 2020, 3:30pm
When asked to give an update 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 will make his return from injury in an U23 game against Arsenal on Friday night.
Sane has not played for City since suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Community Shield win over Liverpool at the start of the season and Guardiola says he will not rush the German back to first-team action.
“I don’t want to put targets,” he said.
“We want to see the game, speak with him, and see how he felt against Arsenal. But it’s good.”
City are currently 22 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table and Guardiola believes it could have been a much closer title race this season if he’d had Laporte and Sane available throughout the campaign.
“A manager needs the players,” said Guardiola. “All the players are fantastic but the more alternatives you have, [you have] the rotation to be fresh.”
He added: “To be in all of them (competitions) you need a top talented squad and the manager depends absolutely, 100 per cent on the quality of our players.”
Guardiola is looking forward to facing Villa at Wembley and says reaching another Carabao Cup final is a fantastic achievement for his side, who won every major domestic trophy last season.
“Being there again is a great achievement for us but of course we have to try to win it,” he added.
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