PEP GUARDIOLA says Kalvin Phillips has no choice but to have surgery on his shoulder problem – but believes his midfielder can be ready for the World Cup.
The £45 million midfielder did not feature in the 20-man squad for the 3-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.
And his club boss has confirmed there is no way the former Leeds man can meet up with the England squad this week.
The latest setback will come as a blow to Gareth Southgate as one of his key men has barely played any football this season.
Guardiola revealed the shoulder has popped out ‘three or four times’ and going under the knife now seems the only option.
The City boss said: “It’s a problem with the shoulder again and maybe he needs surgery in the next days.
“He won’t go with England this time, no way.
“I am not a doctor but in a good way he can be at the World Cup, of course.
“The doctor says the only solution right now is to do what we have to do.
“Every time he’s out because of this and the doctors say if it’s three or four times out then the only solution is to have surgery.”
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Phillips has only seen 14 minutes of action since he joined City – spread across three appearances.
And he is now in a race to be ready for the start of the tournament in just two months time.
By the time the international break is over, there will only be three weeks until Southgate names his squad for Qatar.
When it was put to Guardiola that it had been a frustrating start for Phillips, he said: “Absolutely – for us as well.
“We need him because Rodri cannot play all the games. Kalvin came to fight for that position and sometimes you need two holding midfielders to be more defensive.
“But I think it will be a bit longer because I think he needs surgery.”