MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester City will be without three key defenders for the rest of the Premier League title race after manager Pep Guardiola confirmed Ruben Dias was out for the season on Sunday.
City reclaimed top spot from Liverpool with a 5-0 hammering of Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, but their joy was somewhat tempered by the injury news.
While City have built a three-point lead with three games to go, Guardiola will have to do without Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker for their games against Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United and Aston Villa.
A muscular problem forced Dias off at halftime against Newcastle while Stones and Walker both suffered injuries in the Champions League semi-final tie against Real Madrid.
“Ruben, Kyle and John out until the end of the season,” Guardiola said. “Next pre-season maybe they will be ready.
“Ruben’s problem is muscular. Not the same position, but hamstring.”
With Nathan Ake, an unused substitute against Newcastle, also struggling with an ankle injury, Guardiola says he only has three fit defenders available for Wolves.
“He has a problem in his ankle for a long time,” Guardiola said. “It happened in the game against Leeds. Still he has a little niggle and doesn’t feel comfortable.
“We have Joao (Cancelo), Oleks (Zinchenko) and Aymeric (Laporte).”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)