International breaks are boring and uneventful at best. At their worst, they bring really bad news for your favorite team, if/when key players get hurt. If you’re a Manchester City supporter, congratulations, as you now get to sweat on the fitness of defender John Stones ahead of a monster Manchester derby on Sunday.
Stones was forced off during the first half of England’s 3-3 draw against Germany at Wembley Stadium on Monday night due to a hamstring injury. He is expected to return to City’s training ground tomorrow, where he will be assessed by the medical team.
According to some reports, he will undergo a scan beforehand, in order to assess the extent of the damage. John Stones has endured an injury-riddled season thus far, but he was fit to start the last two games at right back, in place of the injured Kyle Walker, who hasn’t featured for City since Sept. 3.
Walker is however expected to be fit to face fifth place Manchester United on Oct 2. Meanwhile Kalvin Phillips, another injured Man City English international in the back, recently underwent shoulder surgery, and the club are satisfied with how successful it was.
That said, he will now be sidelined long term, with his World Cup place very much in doubt.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.