KALVIN PHILLIPS “is not fit” to face his old club Leeds United, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
The midfielder moved to the Etihad from his boyhood team last summer in a £45million move.
But he has endured a torrid time at the Etihad after being sidelined for two months following shoulder surgery.
The 27-year-old has only made four appearances for City either side of his injury lay-off – none of which were starts.
Despite that, he was still selected to be part of Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad after he played all of the Three Lions’ matches at Euro 2020 last year.
However, he was used much more sparingly in Qatar and was restricted to only two outings from the bench at the tournament.
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Although his match action was brief, Phillips will have been desperate to hit the ground running on his return to the City and force his way into Guardiola’s line-up.
And no doubt the trip to his old stomping ground Elland Road on Boxing Day will have been a fixture he will have been relishing.
Now Guardiola has cast doubt on that happening after leaving him out of City’s 3-2 victory over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
After last night’s thriller, the Cityzens chief explained why he had opted to leave the ace out of his squad completely.
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And he revealed that Phillips was not fit when returned back to the club from World Cup duty.
Guardiola said: “Kalvin Phillips is not fit.
“He did not arrive in the best condition to train and play.”
It now remains to be seen when he will be ready for action with City next in action after the Leeds game on New Year’s Eve at home to Everton.
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