(Reuters) – Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is expected to be available for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace after manager Pep Guardiola said the injury suffered by the defender against Newcastle United was only a minor knock.
Kompany, who has suffered a series of injury setbacks over the last two years, was substituted after 10 minutes at St James’ Park before City went on to win 1-0 to extend their lead to 15 points at the top of league table.
“Vincent is not as bad as we thought,” said Guardiola. “He will be ready for the next fixtures. We will know exactly tomorrow, but it is not a big issue.”
Guardiola also added that Fabian Delph could be fit for Palace but defender John Stones, who is out of action with a hamstring injury, is not yet ready to play a full 90 minutes.
“Fabian was not fit for Newcastle, but he is much better now. We will see. Fabian is a similar case to Vincent – he knows his body,” the manager said.
“John Stones is also much better. I think he will be fit for the next game (Watford) which is huge news for us.”
City have won a record 18 consecutive league games, with midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and winger Raheem Sterling attracting particular praise for their performances. However, Guardiola highlighted defender Nicolas Otamendi’s contributions as the key reason for their recent success.
“Everybody has spoken about a lot of players like Raheem, Kevin, Sergio (Aguero), they deserve it, but if I can point some attention to a player who deserves the respect is Nico.
“He has been amazing – he is one of the hugest competitors I have ever seen in my life. I cannot imagine the situation we are in at the moment in terms of the table without him. It would have been impossible.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)