Stones wants Kompany back for Belgium
The England defender put national allegiance aside with a get-well message for his club captain.
John Stones is willing Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany back to fitness for the World Cup, even though that would strengthen England’s Group G rivals Belgium.
Kompany’s injury curse struck again over the weekend when he hurt his groin during a pre-tournament friendly against Portugal.
The fragile 32-year-old was forced out of Euro 2016 on fitness grounds and has been left sweating over his spot in Russia following his latest setback.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has named Kompany in his 23-man squad but Laurent Ciman is standing by to replace him if he does not make it.
A fully fit Kompany would be a huge asset, and potentially a thorn in England’s side, but Stones is pulling for the City captain.
It's a blow for Belgium, for City and for me because I'm his friend
“I hope Vinny gets back as soon as possible, his health is the main thing,” the defender told Press Association Sport.
“He’s a great player and a great leader and it’s sad to hear he’s got a little injury. I don’t know the extent of it but I’d definitely love to see him – and anyone from City – at the World Cup.
“I never want anyone to get injured. It’s a blow for Belgium, for City and for me because I’m his friend. He’s got to get back and I hope he does as soon as possible. It’s sad news to hear but he has been named (in the squad) so fingers crossed for Vinny.”
Stones suffered his own share of injury problems in the second half of City’s Premier League title-winning season.
He missed games with knee and abductor issues, as well as suffering a concussion with England in March, contributing to his peripheral part in City’s triumphant run-in.
And while that was a frustration, at least there is no prospect of the 24-year-old complaining of excess fatigue once the tournament begins.
“I’m definitely not burned out,” he said ahead of Thursday’s final friendly against Costa Rica in Leeds.
“I’m excited about my football, I want to be out in training or playing if there’s a game.
“People don’t realise when you’re injured you’re working twice as hard but I’m not mentally burned out or anything. I’m excited to get going.
“This is my first World Cup, it’s a massive honour for me and I definitely want to try and enjoy every second on and off the pitch.”