Pep Guardiola said he "hopes" Erling Haaland can return to action before the end of January after saying that the Manchester City forward is still not fit enough to train with his teammates following a recent foot injury.

Haaland, 23, has now missed City's last six games in all competitions after sitting out Wednesday's 3-1 Premier League win at Everton.

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The Norway international was pictured by the club's social media accounts kicking a ball during City's week-long trip to Saudi Arabia for the FIFA Club World Cup last week, but is not close to a first-team comeback.

"[Haaland] is training alone but he is not training with the team," Guardiola told reporters after the victory at Goodison Park. "Kevin [De Bruyne] is training with the team, but Erling is not yet. It is a question of when the pain will disappear.

"We hope he will be back in January, but a stress on the bone is so painful. He is not like a guy like Phil Foden with smaller skin -- Erling is huge.

"He will be back and play. But it is up to the doctors. The doctors come every morning and say this player is available and this is not."

Erling Haaland has now missed six games in a row for Man City with a foot injury. John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

City captain De Bruyne has not played since suffering a serious hamstring injury against Burnley in the opening game of the season, but Guardiola said that the Belgium midfielder is closing in on a return to action and could be fit for the FA Cup third-round tie at home to Huddersfield Town on Jan 6.

"Yeah he is close," Guardiola said. "Today he had fatigue. We have to be careful. He is training with us and he is so positive. Soon he will be back.

"I would love[him] to play the next game or Huddersfield, but it is important to keep fit for a long time."

City suffered another injury worry in the win at Everton with defender John Stones forced off in the first half with an ankle problem -- an injury that Guardiola said is too early to assess the full extent of the damage.

Guardiola's team is now five points behind leader Liverpool with a game in hand, despite winning just once in six league games prior to the trip to Everton. And the City manager said he hopes his team is now over its slump and ready to win the title again.

"Sometimes you have seasons that start going bad, go bad," Guardiola said. "Hopefully the damage is not bad and we can come back. January is not so demanding as December, but still we are there.

"I have the feeling the way we are playing is good. Still, the players are angry when they not win and relatively calm when they win. That is the best way to handle the bad moments."