Guardiola to miss next two Premier League games after back surgery


Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, will be absent from the next two Premier League games after undergoing minor back surgery in Barcelona.


This was contained in a statement on Tuesday via the Premier League champions’ official website, www.mancity.com, saying Guardiola had been struggling with back pain for some time and has undergone emergency surgery in Barcelona.


The statement reads, “Pep Guardiola has today undergone a routine operation on a back problem.


“The Manchester City boss has been suffering from severe back pain for some time lately and flew out to Barcelona for emergency surgery performed by Dr Mireia Illueca. The surgery was a success, and Pep will now recover and rehabilitate in Barcelona.


“In his absence, assistant manager Juanma Lillo will oversee the coaching of the first team on the training field and will assume duties on the touchline until Pep’s return. He is expected to return after the forthcoming international break.


“Everyone at Manchester City wishes Pep a speedy recovery, and looks forward to seeing him back in Manchester soon.”


Skysports reports that Guardiola’s surgery was successful but he will continue his rehabilitation in the city.


The 52-year-old is not expected to be back on the touchline for City until after the international break, meaning he will miss this Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United, live on Sky Sports, as well as the visit of Fulham on September 2.


This is not the first time Man City have had to cope without their manager since Guardiola first came to the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2016.


A Champions League touchline ban in the middle of 2018 meant Guardiola put Mikel Arteta in charge for the visit of Lyon in September of that year, a group-stage game which City lost 2-1.


Also, at the beginning of 2022, Guardiola missed an FA Cup third round-tie at Swindon Town due to contracting coronavirus.

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