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Stones injured and replaced just 16 minutes into comeback for Man City

Date Posted,December 25, 2016

John Stones limped out of Manchester City’s Premier League game at Hull just 16 minutes into his return to first-team action.

Stones was benched for City’s home wins against Watford and Arsenal after being part of the defence that shipped four at Leicester.

But he was recalled for the trip to Hull, only to pick up what appeared to be an injury to his right knee early in the piece before being replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov.

His absence had little bearing on the match, with City running out comfortable 3-0 winners in the end courtesy of a Yaya Toure penalty and Kelechi Iheanacho’s tap-in. Curtis Davies turned into his own net four minutes into time added on for the third.

Before the Boxing Day win, Pep Guardiola came out in support of his centre-half ahead of the Tigers fixture, insisting he still believed in his ability despite dropping him from the starting XI.

Manchester City’s John Stones goes off injured (Photo: REUTERS)
Stones in action against Dieumerci Mbokani before being substituted (Photo: REUTERS)

He said: “If I didn’t have confidence in him, he wouldn’t have played the games he’s played.

“Of course, he must improve like Nicolas Otamendi must improve, like Aleksandar Kolarov must improve and like Vincent Kompany when he comes back.

“I know that people think if a player doesn’t play, it’s because the coach doesn’t trust him anymore. That is not the truth.

“Our job is never ­straightforward. It is unfair in the case of many, many players because they deserve to play, but I cannot find a solution for these kind of things.”

You can follow all the action from the KCOM Stadium in our dedicated LIVE blog here.

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