Erling Haaland injured: Latest on Man City striker’s foot injury concern and possible Club World Cup return

Manchester City fans hoping to see their team capitalise on Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa on December 9 where given a scare when it emerged that Erling Haaland would miss their game against Luton Town a day later.

Haaland, who set a new record of 36 goals in a single Premier League season in 2022/23, played in all of City’s first 15 matches of 2023/24. By early December, he led the Golden Boot standings with 14 goals and four assists, putting him ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

The news he would be missing the match at Kenilworth Road was a particular blow for City, who were on a run of four games without a win in the Premier League — something that last happened under Pep Guardiola back in 2017.

In the end, City came from a goal down to win the match 2-1 even without their talismanic forward, but they will certainly not want his absence to go on for too long, particularly with the Club World Cup semifinal on the horizon.

The Sporting News looks at the latest around Haaland’s status and whether he is carrying an injury that could see him miss further matches during the busy December schedule.

MORE: In-depth commentary, analysis and highlights from Luton vs. Man City

Erling Haaland injured: Latest on Man City striker’s foot injury 

It was reported on December 10, around three hours before Man City’s Premier League match with Luton Town, that Haaland would not be in the squad for the fixture at Kenilworth Road.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein and Sam Lee said the striker would not be available for the game but did not initially specify the reason behind Haaland’s absence.

Guardiola later described Haaland’s injury problem as “a bone stress reaction in his foot”. This tallied with some reports on social media suggesting a potential stress fracture, although neither Man City nor their manager said the injury was as severe as this.

“After the last game against Aston Villa, he felt like this,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “I don’t know [if it looks bad]. Day by day, week by week, we see what happens.”

Speaking after the match, Guardiola clarified: “It’s not a fracture, just a stress on the bone.”

When is Erling Haaland back?

It is unclear yet when Haaland will return. Guardiola said the club would monitor the issue regularly before giving a prognosis.

Haaland sat out the UEFA Champions League match at Red Star Belgrade on December 13, which he would likely have done anyway given the title-holders had already secured their place in the knockout rounds and so did not need to win that game.

City’s next league game is at home to Crystal Palace on December 16, for which Haaland may not quite be ready, either. However, Guardiola did not want to rule him out of that game entirely. Speaking the day before, he told reporters: “I don’t think so [that Haaland will be ready], but maybe surprisingly they’ll tell me something new.”

The more pressing concern for City is the Club World Cup. They begin their attempt to win FIFA’s global club title on December 19, and they will be keen for Haaland to be ready for that semifinal game against either Club Leon or Urawa Red Diamonds.

“He arrived today, he will see the doctors and then we will see,” Guardiola added on December 15. “He has had treatment. Hopefully, he can travel to Saudi Arabia [for the Club World Cup]. I don’t think he will be ready to play this weekend.

“It’s not a fracture, just stress. The doctors say we have to take it day by day or week by week and see how he feels.”

Erling Haaland stats 2023/24

In all competitions this season, Haaland has scored 19 goals in 22 matches. Before the Luton game, he had played in every single Man City match in 2023/24, except for the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat away to Newcastle United on September 27, when he was an unused substitute.

As of December 10, Haaland had played 1,294 minutes of Premier League football in 2023/24, the most of any Man City player other than Kyle Walker (1,349).

Erling Haaland goals 2023/24

Competition Goals Matches
Champions League 5 5
Premier League 14 15
FA Cup
Carabao Cup
Community Shield 0 1
Super Cup 0 1
Total 19 22


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