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Manchester City

Manchester City: Laporte ruled out for up to six months

The defender injured his knee in Manchester City's win against Bournemouth two weeks ago and is not expected to return until next year.

Manchester City star Laporte ruled out for up to six months, says Guardiola

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte will miss up to six months after undergoing surgery on his knee, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

The France centre-back damaged cartilage and the lateral meniscus in his right knee during City's 4-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion on August 31 and had an operation four days later.

Guardiola on Friday confirmed the extent of Laporte's injury for the first time, with the 25-year-old not expected to play again in 2019.

Asked how long Laporte will be out, Guardiola told reporters at a news conference: "Long time. Five months, six months. Next year, sure."

Laporte's form this season had earned him a maiden France call-up, with Didier Deschamps consistenly overlooking the former Athletic defender but finally including him for the European Championship qualifiers against Albania and Andorra - games that he was forced to miss due to the injury. 

Laporte's long-term lay-off leaves Guardiola short of options at the back, but John Stones is back in contention after recovering from a thigh problem that has kept him on the sidelines for the past five weeks.

"He's trained good," Guardiola said of Stones, ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Norwich City. In my thoughts for Saturday? Yes."

Guardiola: Mendy close to comeback 

A return to action also appears imminent for Benjamin Mendy, who has not played since the 4-3 Champions League win over Tottenham in April, but winger Leroy Sané has longer to wait.

"Mendy is training good over the last two weeks," Guardiola said. "Everything is going well.

"He is reacting well, so hopefully in the next games he can play. After what happened in the past two seasons we will be careful. Training is one thing, playing high competition another.

"Sané's coming back before the end of the season. He was injured in August so he should be perfect by December, January and February.

"The surgery was good and he's back now with us making his rehabilitation. Hopefully it will go well."