Man City head coach Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne may miss up to four months with a recurring hamstring injury which saw him substituted 23 minutes into Friday’s 3-0 win at Burnley; De Bruyne was forced off in the Champions League final last season with the same problem.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne faces a “few months out” with a hamstring injury, with Manchester City now having to decide whether he will undergo surgery.
The 32-year-old midfielder was forced off in the first half of June’s Champions League final triumph against Inter Milan and did not play a single minute of pre-season.
De Bruyne returned as a second-half substitute in the Community Shield shootout loss to Arsenal and captained the side against Burnley in Friday’s Premier League opener.
But the Belgium playmaker only lasted 23 minutes at Turf Moor, where seemingly out of nothing he signalled to the bench that he had felt something.
Guardiola confirmed the issue related to the same hamstring and would see him miss “a few weeks”, but it is worse than first feared and a decision has to be made over surgery.
“It’s a serious injury,” the City boss said in his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup game against Sevilla.
“We have to decide surgery or not surgery but a few months out.”
The decision on surgery will be taken in the coming days and could see him miss “three or four months”, Guardiola added.
When Guardiola was pressed on the reasons behind De Bruyne aggravating his hamstring problems, he appeared to lament the curtailed pre-season schedule following his side’s treble-winning campaign.
“Give me 25 days of preparation, and you will not be injured. Of course, we could say ‘don’t play’. I spoke to the doctors and the physios with him, and he said he felt good. But unfortunately, it happened.”
He missed most of City’s pre-season but came off the bench in their Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on August 6, providing the assist for Cole Palmer’s goal.
“Maybe [we shouldn’t have taken a chance to start him],” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the win at Burnley.
“But what happens in 15 minutes can be an injury in 60, 65, 70 when the fatigue comes in the legs, but we have an injury in 15 minutes.”
When asked if City could provide cover for De Bruyne by seeking reinforcements, Guardiola added: “We will see.
“After what happened, we’ve not talked to [director of football] Txiki (Begiristain) but we will see the chances and the possibilities.”
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