Pep Guardiola set to return to Man City after three weeks away from the club as he underwent ’emergency’ surgery on his back

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  • Pep Guardiola missed Man City’s last two games as he underwent back surgery
  • He is now set to be return to the club ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ 

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Pep Guardiola is expected back at Manchester City on Wednesday after back surgery kept him away from the club for more than three weeks.

The 52-year-old was complaining of pain over the summer and underwent an ‘emergency’ operation performed by Dr Mireia Illueca in Barcelona.

City maintained that the procedure was routine but it did mean Guardiola missed two Premier League matches before the international break.

Assistant manager Juanma Lillo took charge of victories, a dramatic last-gasp win away at Sheffield United before City then thumped Fulham 5-1, with Erling Haaland netting a hat-trick.

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Guardiola remained in contact with the backroom staff throughout his absence but the Catalan’s return will act as a timely boost to the Treble winners ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham United.

Pep Guardiola is set to return to Man City after missing the club's last two games while recovering from back surgery

Pep Guardiola is set to return to Man City after missing the club’s last two games while recovering from back surgery

Assistant manager Juanma Lillo led the Cityzens to back-to-back wins in his absence

Assistant manager Juanma Lillo led the Cityzens to back-to-back wins in his absence

Some of City’s international stars are set to arrive back in Manchester on Wednesday for a first session since turning out for their national teams.

While Guardiola is expected to be present for that, it is unknown how much physical involvement the manager will have and he could ease his way back into full day-to-day duties.

Popular with the players, Lillo has been helped by backroom team Carlos Vicens, Lorenzo Buenaventura and new coach Inigo Dominguez while Guardiola’s recuperated at home.

Buenaventura – previously with Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich – usually conducts the more strenuous aspects of sessions.

City will be hoping that John Stones proves his fitness ahead of the weekend, with the central defender having not featured since last month’s Community Shield through injury. Jack Grealish also withdrew from England duty with a thigh problem.

City face a tough test on Saturday as they look to keep their 100 per cent record alive against fourth place West Ham

City face a tough test on Saturday as they look to keep their 100 per cent record alive against fourth place West Ham

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