England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has returned from the World Cup overweight and is not in the right condition to play, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said.
Phillips was only used for 40 minutes as a substitute in the final, having not started for City since leaving Leeds United at the end of the season due to a shoulder injury.
Second-placed City, who return to the Premier League at Leeds on Wednesday, will again be without Phillips, 27, much to the frustration of his manager.
“He is not injured, he arrived (back) overweight,” Guardiola said. ” I do not know why). He did not arrive in condition to train and play.
“That’s why he can’t play. When he’s ready, he’ll play because we need him, we need him a lot.”
Asked if he was disappointed to see Phillips back in such a bad state, Guardiola added: “It’s a private conversation with Kalvin.”
FA and Phillips’ representatives, ICM Stellar Sports, declined to comment on Guardiola’s remarks.
Seeking to win a fifth league title in the past six seasons, City resume the campaign trailing Arsenal by four points.
They found their way back to winning ways after the World Cup break with a thrilling 3-2 League Cup win over Liverpool on Thursday.