News From Manchester: Aymeric Laporte injury blow for Man City confirmed by Pep Guardiola

Laporte battled through injury during the final weeks of the 2021/22 campaign with the team light on options, unexpectedly starting the penultimate game against West Ham after taking a serious knock days earlier at Wolves before playing again in the final match of the season against Aston Villa.

City's Spanish defender had surgery on the issues in the summer but was unable to go on the pre-season tour with the Blues as he works his way back to fitness and will not be able to participate in the opening weeks of the season either. Guardiola hopes that the player will return in September if his rehabilitation continues to go well.

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“Laporte is injured. He had surgery after the last few games when he made an incredible effort,” he said.

“He's looking really well but we have to be careful because it was a knee. He needs time. I think he will be out for August and then maybe he will start to be with us in September.”

Laporte's absence makes the decision to hold on to Nathan Ake even more important. Chelsea came in for the centre-back this summer but the Blues would not sell him unless they could get at least 50m and line up a replacement and the West London club were not willing to meet City's valuation.