Laporte was taken off at half-time and Fernandinho at full-time during City’s penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea at Wembley. “Laporte felt something in the last action of the first half, and Fernandinho felt something muscular,” Guardiola confirmed. “So I think it will be weeks out.”
With John Stones currently missing with a groin injury, City are now missing their two first choice centre-backs ahead of a crucial run of fixtures. Stones did not travel to Gelsenkirchen last week due to a groin problem that Guardiola said was “not a big one” but was enough to stop him from being part of the squad in Germany.
Fernandinho played in his normal defensive midfield role in this final, but he has played at centre-back twice this month, in the 3-1 win over Arsenal on 3 February and the 3-2 win at Schalke 04 on last week.
Now Guardiola will likely be left with Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany as his two fit cente-backs for the Premier League games against West Ham United this Wednesday night and Bournemouth away on Saturday lunchtime.
When Schalke come back to the Etihad for the Champions League second leg on 12 March Otamendi will be suspended following his first-leg dismissal, meaning that City will need one of Laporte, Stones and Fernandinho to be fit again by then.
But Guardiola backed his squad to find a way through the next few weeks.
“Two and a half important players will be out for a while,” Guardiola said. “But it's normal. A lot of games. We demand a lot of these players. Look at [Manchester] United today. It's not exclusive with Manchester City.
"We demand a lot of the players, the pitches aren't good, the weather, the ball is even not good. So people fall down. I'm still impressed how they can still play games without any injuries but, in the end, it happens. There are fewer games in other countries. We play Schalke with important players not playing, but I trust our squad. We will find a solution.”
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