Manchester City will have to make do without Pep Guardiola on the touchline until after the international break after the Spaniard underwent what was described as ‘routine back surgery’ earlier in the week.
Often prominently seen on the sidelines during games, Guardiola cut a subdued figure in their 1-0 win over Newcastle United, spending large periods of the second half sat on top of a cooler close to the dugout.
Now, he is set for a spell away from the touchline and out of England, with the Spaniard having returned to Barcelona for surgery on his back and not expected back until after the upcoming international break (September 4th-15th).
“The Manchester City boss has been suffering with 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”, an official statement revealed.
In his absence, assistant manager Juanma Lillo will oversee 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 look forward to seeing him back in Manchester soon.”
It means that City, who currently sit joint top of the Premier League with six points from their opening two games, face a trip to newly promoted Sheffield United and a home tie against Fulham without their influential manager, though they will remain expectant of six further points.
Meanwhile, there is better news on the transfer front with the club having agreed a £55m deal for Rennes winger Jeremy Doku, who will fill in for Riyad Mahrez after the Algerian left for Saudi side Al Ahli.