Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (AP)
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gave an update on Kevin De Bruyne’s injury.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola provided an update on Kevin De Bruyne’s injury saying the midfielder is closing in on a return, but added the FIFA Club World Cup may come too soon for the Belgian.
De Bruyne, the Belgian who hasn’t featured for the champions since the opening day of the season after suffering a hamstring injury which required surgery, has been included in the City’s squad bound for the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia later this month, but Guardiola says he doesn’t know if he is able to take part at this point.
The Belgian has returned to light training but is yet to train with the squad under normal training conditions.
“I think he has started to run on the pitch but hasn’t trained with us once. The FIFA Club World Cup is in two or three weeks. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a bit early but I don’t know (at this point),” Guardiola was quoted by the club’s official website.
Guardiola recognizes De Bruyne’s immense importance to the team but is also cautious about overburdening him upon his return due to the severity of his injury.
“Kevin is so important. But unfortunately, he’s had a tough injury for three or four months. Don’t put pressure on him, when he’s back we’ll have open arms for him.
“But I’ve said to the team, do you know how we struggled to get the Treble? We were eight or nine points behind Arsenal. With all the problems and injuries, we had. It’s normal, that’s why we gave credit to the Treble,” he said.
‘challenge to prove I’m a good manager’
Manchester City’s four-match winless run has provided food for thought for manager Pep Guardiola, who said on Friday he would use the challenge of digging them out of their current predicament to prove to himself that he is a good manager.
“I think for everyone in the club, it’s good what we are living. I think it’s necessary to live that. For a long time, it was about how good we are,” Guardiola told reporters.
“Maybe we need it. It’s terrible, we’re unbeatable and we are now not able to win one game. In the big moments, I was realising that.
“Maybe for myself first, I need that challenge to prove I’m a good manager. For the players it’s a good challenge, that Aston Villa were miles away from all of us… And now we may not qualify for the Champions League next season.”
(With inputs from Agencies)