Manchester City hit by double injury blow


Manchester City have suffered a double injury setback with Rodri and Oleksandr Zinchenko sidelined for at least a month.

Manager Pep Guardiola said midfielder Rodri will be out until after the next international break in November with a hamstring issue, while left-back Zinchenko may need six weeks to recover following knee surgery.

Rodri, who had been playing in defence to cover for other injuries, hobbled out of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Atalanta. He is set to miss the champions’ top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool on November 10 but could return to face Chelsea a fortnight later.

Guardiola said: “They told me after the international break he will be ready again.”

Zinchenko has missed City’s last two games and this week underwent a minor procedure to repair a knee injury.

Speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend’s clash with Aston Villa, Guardiola said: “He had a contact with the knee and felt something in the bone. He’s had to stop for four or five weeks.

“He’s had some surgery to clean up the knee. It’s not a big issue but he’ll be out for five or six weeks.”

Rodri’s injury late in the first half on Tuesday led to John Stones coming off the bench to replace him.

There had been some surprise the England international, after recovering from injury himself, had not been in the side to begin with, but Guardiola stressed his selection came down to match fitness.

He said: “It’s not about first choice, it’s about being fit. For a long time he’s been injured. He’s had many many injuries. That’s why he could not play.

“This season injury and injury and injury. Sometimes it needs more time.”
City have an opportunity to cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to three points as they host Villa on Saturday.

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