Spain international defender Aymeric Laporte will miss the start of English champions Manchester City’s season due to knee surgery.
City coach Pep Guardiola said on Friday that Laporte, who suffered an injury late last season, will need surgery.
The 28-year-old was plagued by injury last season, but after a tough fightback with Liverpool, he contributed to a fourth Premier League title in five years.
“Laporte is injured,” Guardiola told reporters about his central defender. “After last season he had knee surgery when he played the last two or three games with a major injury. He did an unbelievable job.”
He continued: “So far, he’s doing a good job, but you have to be careful with the knee. I think he’ll be out in August and start his season with us in September.”
An injury to Laporte and the transfer of left-back Alexander Zinchenko to Arsenal have weakened the Catalan coach’s defensive options.
City have been linked with Brighton left-back Mark Kokoria, but Guardiola said: “He’s a Brighton player, I can’t say anything.”
Guardiola admitted that the left side of his defense needs to be strengthened, noting that Portuguese Joao Cancelo is the only player available to him in this area, “If it’s possible, yes, if not, we’ll keep what we have.”
City meet Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday at the King Power Stadium in a traditional start to the English season. Guardiola’s men open their league season at West Ham on August 7.
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