MANCHESTER – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes John Stones has the ability to become one of the best defenders in the world but said he will not reach his potential until he stays fit for long periods.
Stones last featured for City in a 2-1 Premier League defeat by Manchester United last month and has been restricted to just 12 club appearances this season.
The 25-year-old is likely to return to City's starting lineup for the FA Cup third round match against League Two side Port Vale on Saturday after recovering from his third thigh injury of the campaign.
"He has the conditions to do it, but to be the best central defender you have to play one entire season, every three days being there," Guardiola told a news conference.
"I don't know why he has not been able to play regularly. We try to help him. We have tried to do the best to help him since the first day of the 3-1/2 years we have been here. We do everything for him.