Manchester City’s injury list is already lengthening so early in the campaign. The likes of Leroy Sane, John Stones and Gabriel Jesus are all suffering one setback or the other.
Sane will be out for a significant part of the season after suffering a serious ACL tear. That will keep him out of the team for over seven months. Although he may return on time to still make a contribution that could help City secure silverware, it is unlikely that he will be in top form after such a long layoff.
The 23-year-old confirmed recently that he has undergone surgery and will work hard to get back as soon as possible. With Riyad Mahrez waiting in the wings to fill in whenever necessary, the German international’s absence may not be felt much. That said, with fixtures set to increase from next month when the Champions League and Cup competitions begin, more depth will be required in the squad.
Speaking of which Gabriel Jesus provides upfront as a replacement for Sergio Aguero. The prolific Argentine is very dependable when fit, but he too has suffered numerous injuries in recent campaigns. Keeping him fit will be very important to manager Pep Guardiola this time around. A good rotation will help achieve the goal. But with the young Brazilian sidelined, Aguero will have to spend more minutes on the pitch.
Jesus suffered a hamstring injury in training last week prior to the game against Bournemouth. That ruled him out of the match and will keep him sidelined for up to three weeks. Therefore, the 22-year-old will miss City’s next home game against Brighton. He is set to return in mid-September after the international break.
Center-back John Stones also developed a muscular problem that has seen him sit out the last two matches. His fitness will be important this season too given the fact that the team has just three natural center-backs. Vincent Kompany was not replaced during the transfer window leaving City short of options in the position. Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi have combined well together so far. But an injury to either of them can leave Guardiola short-handed.
Yes, either of Kyle Walker or Fernandinho can be drafted in to provide cover. But neither has been tested successfully in the position. Fortunately, this is the worst case scenario and there is no need for it now. Also, Stones should be back by the end of August.