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Tuesday 13 November 2018

City in a sweat over De Bruyne injury scare

BOLT FROM THE BLUE: The loss of influential playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will be acutely felt by his City team-mates. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA
BOLT FROM THE BLUE: The loss of influential playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will be acutely felt by his City team-mates. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA

Manchester City are waiting to learn the extent of a serious knee injury suffered by key player Kevin De Bruyne in training.

Reports have suggested the Belgium playmaker could be out for two to four months after being hurt during a session on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old, who is due to undergo tests, arrived on crutches and wearing a leg brace as he attended the premiere of Amazon’s “All Or Nothing” fly-on-the-wall documentary about the club.

City have not yet indicated how long the player will be sidelined, but a two-month lay-off would see him miss the opening Champions League fixtures and a potentially crucial clash against Liverpool on October 7.

A statement from the Premier League champions read: “Kevin De Bruyne is undergoing tests on his right knee after sustaining an injury at training on Wednesday.

“The extent of the problem is not yet known and we will bring you further updates on Kevin’s condition in due course.”

De Bruyne, one of the stars of last season’s title success, only returned to full training last week after a delayed summer break following the World Cup. He featured as a second-half substitute in the league campaign-opening win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last Sunday.

Suffered

The injury could be similar to one De Bruyne suffered during a game against Everton in 2016, when he was ruled out for nine weeks.

Speaking at the premiere in Manchester city centre, team-mate Kyle Walker said: “Kevin is a great player and it’s just unfortunate that it’s happened to him in training but there’s more than enough depth in the squad.

“We don’t just rely on one player. It’s a team game and whoever steps in will do well. Obviously it’s a big loss but we’ve got more than enough cover.”

City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said of De Bruyne: “He played an incredible season. He had so much impact on our game. He was maybe the main man for us last season.

“He is very important. We all hope that it is not too serious so he can get back on the training field as soon as possible.”

City are next in action against Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, their first home game of the campaign.

Gundogan said: “We couldn’t beat Huddersfield at the end of last season, so we are even more motivated. Hopefully we are going to get the three points.”

De Bruyne, meanwhile, has admitted that he lost patience with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. The Manchester City star left Stamford Bridge to join Wolfsburg in 2014 before making a triumphant return to the Premier League by joining the Blues 18 months later.

In “All or Nothing” De Bruyne says that he decided to leave Mourinho’s Chelsea due to impatience at not being a first-team regular.

“I was only 20 years old when I decided to sign for Chelsea, and I got my chances in the first few games and I thought, okay, things are going well, I play okay, we won the games,” he said.

“But then one day it stopped. Knowing me, I had not a lot of patience at the time, I decided to go in January.”

Mourinho said at the time that De Bruyne had been dropped for his performance in a game against Swindon.

He said: “I try to be honest with Kevin.

“He’s not selected because I didn’t like the match he played against Swindon and I didn’t like the way he was training.”

The series gives a glimpse into De Bruyne’s psyche, and he was less than impressed with Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge.

He said: “In football if you don’t win anything it is always a failure.

“It’s not that we had the worst season but obviously we didn’t win anything. In the end people just care about winning.”

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