MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City defender John Stones has been ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League match against his former club Everton due to concussion, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Stones picked up the head injury during England’s 1-1 friendly draw with Italy and Guardiola said that head injury protocol needed to be followed.
“He feels really good but the rules say he needs seven days off...everybody else is really good,” said Guardiola whose team need two wins to secure the title.
Stones left Everton for City in 2016 in a 47.5 million-pound ($67 million) move and Guardiola’s comments suggest he should be fit to face Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final at Anfield on Wednesday.
Guardiola said Sergio Aguero, who missed Argentina’s two friendlies during the international break with a knee injury, was doing better but suggested he was unlikely to feature against Everton.
A win at Goodison would leave City, who have a 16-point lead at the top of the table, with the chance to wrap up the title at home to local rivals Manchester United on April 7.
But Guardiola, whose team then face Spurs at Wembley on April 14, is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s not done. We are almost there, in almost an ideal situation but it isn’t done,” he said.
“The Premier League is tough, you can lose two or three in a row and you are in trouble. Goodison is always a tough ground, the Manchester derby is going to be very, very difficult and we know how well Tottenham play at Wembley.
“We will celebrate when it is done but for now we prepare as we always have done,” he added.
($1 = 0.7118 pounds)
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond