Stones injury not long-term, says Man City boss Guardiola

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group G - Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - September 14, 2022 Manchester City's John Stones celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Craig Brough/File Photo

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Manchester City defender John Stones could return from injury in two weeks and be available for the World Cup while midfielder Kalvin Phillips could also make it to Qatar following shoulder surgery, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

Stones went off after hurting his hamstring in England's Nations League draw against Germany on Monday, casting doubt over his participation in the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 World Cup.

"It won't be 4-6 weeks, it might be less. I don't know when he will be back but two weeks, 10 days hopefully," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday's derby clash at home to Manchester United.

Phillips withdrew from the England squad for games against Italy and Germany this month to undergo surgery and Guardiola said the player was recovering well.

"He took the right decision (to have surgery), otherwise he couldn't move forward. Every training session he was out. Hopefully he can be back in time to go to World Cup," he added.

Champions City, who head into the derby one point behind leaders Arsenal, will face a resurgent United who have won their last four league games after a torrid start to the season.

"We have to play a perfect game. They have the qualities up front, physicality and quality in the middle with Eriksen, Fernandes, physicality with Casemiro and McTominay," said Guardiola.

"I always expect the best, they have it for many years, they come with a resolve. Top side, against Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal at home. The momentum is there."

United will have the formidable task of containing Erling Haaland, who has made a blistering start to his City career with 11 league goals in seven games.

The tall Norwegian will come up against the diminutive Lisandro Martinez in the United defence but Guardiola said it would be a mistake to underestimate the Argentine despite the size difference between the two players.

"It's not the first time he's played against taller strikers, he handles it. Important is to be intelligent, brave," said the Spaniard. "He's a fantastic player, aggressive, good build-up."

Erik ten Hag's United, fifth on 12 points, trail City by five points but have a game in hand.

Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.