Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne has come up as a doubt for Sunday’s big derby match against Manchester United after he recently sustained a back injury.
The midfielder missed his side’s FA Cup fifth-round win over Sheffield United on Wednesday. It is unknown how long he will grace the sidelines for. City boss Pep Guardiola said it is unknown how long the midfielder is expected to be out of action.
Guardiola revealed that De Bruyne had suffered the injury in the Carabao Cup final win over Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday after he came on as a second-half substitute. “It was the last game in the last minute, he fell down in a bad position,” said Guardiola. “We don’t know how long, hopefully not too long but I [can’t say right now].”
The Citizens play Newcastle away in the FA Cup quarter-finals while they take a 2-1 lead into the Champions League last 16 tie with Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium on 17 March – both encounters which De Bruyne could miss if he does not recover on time. The club’s home game against Arsenal, which should have been played last weekend, will now take place on March 11. Again, it is only left to speculation as to De Bruyne’s level of fitness come this tie.
The important thing is that we are there in the next round. This was our fourth away game in a row [the fifth round FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday] and we have spent a lot of mental energy in the last few games. We didn’t concede one shot on target and that means a lot. We corrected a few things in the second half and we could have scored more.”