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John Stones: Man City facing injury crisis after England centre-back joins Kyle Walker and Manuel Akanji in treatment room

John Stones joins Kyle Walker in being forced off injured while on duty with England during this break; the pair, along with Manuel Akanji, are doubts for Man City's title-race clash with Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 4.30pm

John Stones limped off injured during England's match against Belgium

John Stones limped off injured early on during England's match against Belgium on Tuesday, just days ahead of Manchester City's huge Premier League clash with Arsenal.

The City defender was substituted off after nine minutes at Wembley and replaced by Joe Gomez.

It's a further blow for Man City boss Pep Guardiola, who saw another of his defenders, Kyle Walker, forced off injured during England's friendly with Brazil on Saturday, while centre-back Manuel Akanji withdrew from Switzerland's squad with a knock.

Stones, Walker and Akanji will now be doubts for that meeting of the title rivals at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports.

Southgate: No regrets over Stones

In his post-match press conference, England boss Gareth Southgate was asked if he had any regrets in starting Stones, who had played the full 90 minutes of England's defeat to Brazil on Saturday:

"The first game wasn't a game which was a high level in terms of intensity. We've done exactly what Holland did with Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake and what Norway did with Martin Odegaard and Erling Haaland. It only seems to fall on us when there's a question on that.

Romelu Lukaku takes on John Stones

"Of course, we're disappointed if he's got a problem. It looks like it's in the abductor area. He came in on the back of not playing for two weeks, so it's not about overload. But I hate sending players back to their clubs injured."

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Reporting from Wembley, Sky Sports' Rob Dorsett said: "Oh no. More injury problems for England. John Stones has indicated to the bench he has a groin problem. Joe Gomez is hurriedly warming up.

"Spare a thought for Pep Guardiola, ahead of this huge Premier League encounter against Arsenal on Sunday. Already concerned about Kyle Walker and his hamstring problem that's forced him out of the England squad, now Stones - who doesn't go down or come off the pitch easily - has a groin problem. "

But Walker expected to be fit for Arsenal clash

Kyle Walker is expected to recover from injury in time for Man City's huge match against title rivals Arsenal on Sunday - live on Sky Sports.

The defender suffered a hamstring injury playing for England 1-0 defeat to Brazil at Wembley and was forced off after 20 minutes clutching the back of his left leg.

However, the issue is not thought to be too serious and City are hopeful he will be available for Sunday's crucial Premier League game at the Etihad, with leaders Arsenal one point ahead in the table.

The initial diagnosis suggested a tight hamstring rather than a strain, but his progress will be monitored over the coming days.

Walker, who captained England at Wembley, left the national team camp on Monday to return to City.

Guardiola will be hoping his deputy captain can return to full fitness quickly ahead of an important month of fixtures which sees City play in three competitions as they go in search of a double treble.

Man City's next fixtures:

March 31: Arsenal (H), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 4.30pm

April 3: Aston Villa (H), Premier League, kick-off 8.15pm

April 6: Crystal Palace (A), Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm

April 9: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 13: Luton (H), Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 17: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 20: Chelsea (N), FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, kick-off 5.30pm

April 25: Brighton (A), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 8pm

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