Phillips has managed three substitute appearances for City since his £45m summer move from Leeds, which has amounted to less than 20 minutes of playing time.
He was left out of the matchday squad for Saturday’s impressive 3-0 win at Wolves after suffering a recurrence of the shoulder problem he sustained in last month’s friendly away to Barcelona.
Hopes of Kalvin Phillips appearing in a first World Cup are now hanging by a thread, although Guardiola insists he could still return in time, with the Three Lions first game in the tournament not until November 21.
“I don’t know [how long he will be out for], I am not a doctor but in a good way he can arrive of course the World Cup,” said Guardiola.
“I think so but I am not a doctor. The doctor says the only solution right now is to do what we have to do.”
Phillips has had a frustrating start to life at the Etihad and his fitness issues mean Rodri has had to start all 10 of City’s games so far this season, missing just 57 minutes across those fixtures.
Guardiola has been disappointed not to have his summer signing available, not only as competition for Rodri but also as an option to start two defensive midfielders in some games.
“Absolutely [it’s been frustrating] – for us as well. We need him because Rodri cannot play all the games, Kalvin came to fight for that position and sometimes you need two holding midfielders to be more defensive,” he said.
“But I think it will be a bit longer because I think he needs it [surgery]. Every time he’s out because of this and the doctors say if it’s three or four times out then the only solution is to have surgery.”
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