Erling Haaland will be absent from Manchester City’s Premier League clash against Newcastle on Saturday due to a foot injury, and he is expected to remain sidelined until the end of January.
Despite being the co-leading scorer in the league with 14 goals, the Norwegian striker has been unavailable for the past eight games in all competitions, last playing in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Dec. 6. City manager Pep Guardiola expressed hope for Haaland’s return by the end of the month but acknowledged that the recovery is taking longer than initially anticipated.
Guardiola also confirmed that defender John Stones, recovering from an ankle injury, will not be part of the squad against Newcastle.
Regarding Haaland’s absence, Guardiola explained, “It’s the bone. It needs time. With every injury, you can do whatever you want, but it’s a question of time.”
Despite these setbacks, playmaking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is set to feature more prominently in Saturday’s match and may even start for the defending champions. De Bruyne returned from a hamstring injury in City’s FA Cup win over Huddersfield, contributing an assist to Jérémy Doku’s goal.
Guardiola praised De Bruyne’s condition, stating that the midfielder looks “really good [and] dynamic,” signaling his readiness to start. After the Newcastle game, the team plans to travel to Abu Dhabi for warm-weather training before their next fixture against Tottenham in the FA Cup on Jan. 26.
This post originally appeared on ESPN