Manchester City’s Stones ruled out with hamstring injury

Manchester City's John Stones controls the ball during an English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Cardiff City. (Rui Vieira/AP)

ZAGREB, Croatia — Manchester City’s problems in central defence have worsened after John Stones was ruled out for a few weeks because of a hamstring injury.

Stones was injured in City’s 2-1 loss to fierce rival Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

City manager Pep Guardiola gave the injury prognosis on Tuesday, a day before the team plays Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. City has already qualified for the knockout stage.

City is short of numbers in central defence, with long-time captain Vincent Kompany leaving in the off-season — and not being replaced — and Aymeric Laporte sustaining a serious knee injury at the start of the season.

Guardiola has been playing Fernandinho, a defensive midfielder, at centre back. With Stones out, Nicolas Otamendi is the only other senior player available to partner Fernandinho for a busy month when City plays in three competitions — the Champions League, the Premier League and quarterfinals of the English League Cup.

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