Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that John Stones will be out for around five weeks with a muscular problem.
The 25-year-old England international suffered the problem in training ahead of their Champions League opener against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening.
“He (Stones) is out four, five or six weeks. He was injured in training this morning. It is a muscular problem,” Guardiola said.
Stones’ absence will add to the defensive problems for City, with French centre-back Aymeric Laporte already likely to be out until the New Year.
Now, Guardiola is now down to one fit central defender in Nicolas Otamendi and he has suggested Fernandinho could start at the heart of his defence against Shakhtar, while teenagers Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis are also in contention.
“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge, just one central defender in Nico,” he added.
“But I believe a lot. People don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Garcia, Harwood-Bellis.
“It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. If they are not able, they are not able. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution.
“For the players as well to find an incredible step forward. John and Aymer are injured for a long time.”