Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that John Stones faces four to five weeks out with a muscular injury.
The England international had only just returned to action after a similar problem kept him out of the games against Tottenham, Bournemouth and Brighton.
Supporters on Twitter have been reacting to the defensive injury crisis with many calling for the likes of Eric Garcia to be given their chance in the first team:
You’ve got to be kidding me….. pic.twitter.com/k8v7NyqmJn
— Wavy 👨🎨 (@wavycreations_) 17 September 2019
The price you pay when you think going into the season with 3 CBs is a good idea
— Karl Cobane (@KCobane) 17 September 2019
GARCIA AND FERNANDINHO
— Kody Powell (@KxD0307) 17 September 2019
You've got to be joking now.
— lord Android㊙️°×°🇿🇦 (@Black8Virgo) 17 September 2019
— Ahmed Abaza (@Abazinho98) 17 September 2019
Looooool our defense has gone from 99 to 60
— jake (@JakeGarrity3) 17 September 2019
Garcia will be solid at the back come on son.
— tengs (@tengscs) 17 September 2019
Means we stuck with Ontamendi 🤦🏿♂️
— Benzeni na? (@Sbusiso_Nkambul) 17 September 2019
Smart decision to not replace Kompany👍🏾
— Bolagen☆Betalar (@bolagenbetalar) 17 September 2019
Time for Eric Garcia
— MKirk (@AFCMaKir) 17 September 2019
The failure to replace Vincent Kompany in the summer is looking like a massive error on the club’s part. With Stones joining Aymeric Laporte on the treatment table, Guardiola is left with just one fit recognised centre-half.
Fernandinho will almost certainly deputise against Shakhtar Donetsk tomorrow and with seven games over the next six weeks, it is likely most of those matches will see the Brazilian partnered with Nicolas Otamendi.
Guardiola has shown tremendous ingenuity in converting midfielders into centre-halves in the past, and he will need all of his know-how to make sure this centre-back partnership doesn’t concede too many goals.