Man City confirm Laporte injury scare ahead of World Cup announcements

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Aymeric Laporte was substituted as a precaution in Manchester City’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Laporte looked uncomfortable at times in City’s 2-0 win, at one point going down after clearing a ball, and then asking players not to pass to him as he took a breather to recover. Later in the game, he was substituted for Nathan Ake, grimacing as he walked off unaided, before taking his place on the substitutes’ bench.

If Laporte did pick up an injury, it would be a setback ahead of the deadline for nations to name their final 26-man World Cup squads for Qatar 2022. Laporte would be expected to be named in the Spain squad for the tournament.

Confirming Laporte was uncomfortable with a possible injury, Guardiola said: “He felt [something]. I think he is okay but in the last minutes some discomfort and we made a substitution.”

However, Guardiola was more positive about the returning Kalvin Phillips, who will hope to be named in the England squad when Gareth Southgate makes his announcement on Thursday.

“Kalvin, he made a good 40 minutes, long time he didn’t play and he played with incredible personality,” Guardiola said. “In the second part of the season we will need him because Rodri cannot play all the time.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, Guardiola added: “Gareth knows him. That’s important. A lot of days to go until the first game of the World Cup. He’s ready.”

And Phillips himself told BBC 5 Live: “I feel good. After the first 10 minutes on the pitch my heart was racing. I was just glad to be back out there after seven weeks of hard work to try and push for the World Cup squad and just be back fit in general.

“It is funny, obviously the operation I had is between eight and 12 weeks and eight weeks is bang on the first game of the World Cup. It was a tough decision but one I am happy I made now.

“I’ll be nervous but if it is a positive call I will be very happy. I feel like I have worked very hard to get to this moment. If it happens I will be very happy.”

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