Manchester City have been dealt a potentially huge injury blow ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, as Kevin De Bruyne confirmed that he played through the pain for Belgium against Italy earlier this week, after suffering ligament damage in their win against Portugal earlier in the tournament.
The 30-year-old midfielder, who could not prevent his side from crashing out of the European Championships on Friday, confirmed after the game that:
“Personally, I can say thanks to the medical team. Playing with a torn ligament, and I played 90 minutes, is incredible.”
“There were too many problems in the team (with many injuries) to be at 100 per cent.”
Considering the new season is just over a month away for Manchester City, Pep Guardiola will surely not be impressed that one of his most influential players has been playing with such an injury.
It is suggested that a player can take up to six months to recover fully from a torn ligament ankle injury, so whilst it is easy to see why De Bruyne was desperate to play in the quarter-final match, he really should not have been risked by Roberto Martinez, as it could create a lot of problems for City next season if he isn’t at 100%.
Considering the former Chelsea man was rated as the best performer in City’s side last season as they won the title, averaging an incredible 7.65/10 rating from WhoScored for his performances, it comes as a huge blow to Guardiola that he might well end up missing the start of the new campaign as he begins his recovery.
With two of City’s rivals for the title, Liverpool and Manchester United, already strengthening their sides, the Etihad outfit will have to be at their best again next season if they want to retain their crown, and having the “world-class” De Bruyne fit is key to their success.
Therefore, Guardiola should rightly be angry that the talismanic midfielder risked making his injury worse for Belgium, and will be hoping that he can make a swift recovery in time for the season opener.