Pep Guardiola says the midfielder will be “out for a while” but he himself insists the problem he picked up at Bournemouth on Saturday is not serious
Kevin De Bruyne has played down the severity of the hamstring injury he picked up during Manchester City’s victory at Bournemouth on Saturday.
De Bruyne was forced off during the first half at the Vitality Stadium, indicating immediately after he made a seemingly routine pass that he needed to be withdrawn.
City boss Pep Guardiola has said the Belgian will be “out for a while”, but speaking after the match De Bruyne stressed that he would be back in action relatively soon.
“It happens, you know,” he told reporters. “I don’t think it’s too bad this time. It’s fine.
“I felt a little bit tight at the end of the half. I did one action with the pass and I didn’t feel too comfortable so I just took myself out. It’s better not to take a risk.”
Click Here: NRL league JerseysAsked whether he would be out for a few games, he said: “I hope not. I felt something but I don’t think it’s going to be too severe.”
De Bruyne has already missed much of the current season with two separate knee injuries, and had only recently regained enough match fitness to play every three or four days, but he insists he has not been left feeling down by his time on the sidelines.
“No,” he said, “it happens. I came back and I needed some time because I’ve been out for six months. But the last two months I’ve almost played everything and I’ve felt fine. Now, I’ve felt a little bit but we’ve had a tough 10 days with four games. Maybe it’s that. But we have some injuries and I don’t think its too bad.”
Riyad Mahrez, who replaced De Bruyne, scored City’s only goal at Bournemouth but the home side posed zero goal threat themselves, failing to have a single shot of any kind or even a corner.
De Bruyne says certain games this season have been even harder than last, as teams have chosen to defend even more against the Blues, but he points out that his side have already proven their ability to win against teams who sit deep.
“I think people already know that,” he added. “Sometimes it gets more difficult because people are even defending more than they did last year. [Saturday] was a little bit extreme because I like Bournemouth as a team. Normally they are free-flowing, they like to attack. But today, for any given reason they didn’t want to do it. So, it is what it is.”
City’s victory took them back to the top of the table on Saturday night and following Liverpool’s draw with Everton on Sunday the Blues are now one point clear with nine games to play.
At this stage last season City were 16 points clear of second place, and while De Bruyne says he would rather be in that position that a close title race, he points out that City’s current points tally is “unbelievable”.
“I preferred last year because we knew last year that we were probably going to win it,” he continued. “But in the end we cannot do anything about it. They are doing incredibly well and we are the same. We are a little bit below points-wise what we did last year, but still the points we have now – 71 I think – its unbelievable, So we just try to keep going and in the end we will see how much we need.”