Ilkay Gundogan Injury 'Not a Big Issue,' Says Manchester City Boss Pep Guardiola

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2017

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City receives treatment from the medical team during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns September 20, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

The injury suffered by midfielder Ilkay Gundogan during Manchester City's 2-1 Carabao Cup win over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday is only "little," according to manager Pep Guardiola. 

The Spanish boss admitted he was anxious when the 26-year-old German, making his first start in nine months, had to be substituted just before the hour following a challenge from Claudio Yacob, per Paul Hirst in The Times:

"I think it's a little injury. Unfortunately the action was tough but he will be back soon hopefully. He will have a scan, but the doctor told me it's a little [injury], and not a big issue.

"I suffered for Gundogan in that moment when he was on the ground. At that moment, you think of the wrong situations, you cannot imagine what it is like to be out for months fighting every day alone with the physio and come back and to be injured. In that moment, it's so tough to accept. It's football and fortunately it's not serious."

City beat West Brom 2-1 thanks to a Leroy Sane double and have been drawn against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fourth round.

Gundogan's fitness, though, was the main story of the night at the Hawthorns given he had not been included in a City starting XI since December 14, 2016, a 2-0 win against Watford during which he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Before he was felled from behind by Yacob soon after half-time, the former Borussia Dortmund star showed just what City had been missing in 2017, per ESPN's Jonathan Smith:

When Gundogan went down it did not look good, per the Manchester Evening News' James Robson:

However, Guardiola's assurances that his latest knock is not serious will be a huge relief to all involved at City.