We’ve got good news and bad news for you, Manchester City fans. Want the good news first? Well you don’t get a choice, so here it is. Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will not require surgery on the knee injury he suffered earlier this week. However, the injury will keep him out for at least three months, per ESPN’s Jonathan Smith.
“Like the doctor said, it will be two to three months, hopefully he can do as much as possible to get back and help us again,” Pep Guardiola said in a press conference.
It’s not bold to state that replacing KDB is impossible. Or at least highly improbable. His output is just staggering since arriving in Manchester. But City will have to cope. They did win the Premier League last season by a whopping 19 points, though. And while the likes of Liverpool (25 points off) and Chelsea (30 points off) figure to be better this season, will they be good enough to close such wide margins, even with De Bruyne missing up to three months?
It’s difficult to say.
“It will be a big miss like last season with Benjamin Mendy. Last season Kevin was outstanding in all terms and of course for him and his family you never want this but you accept it’s part of the game,” Guardiola continues.
De Bruyne is also coming off a memorable World Cup run with Belgium this summer. Ultimately, they finished third after knocking off England for a second time in the tournament. Going forward, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see other stars that made deep World Cup runs deal with injury issues. These players haven’t had a whole lot of rest since the end of last season.
Pep is well aware of that aspect of it too.
“It’s especially part of the game for the players — it’s normal, they don’t rest. It’s a tough season, short recovery, they say let’s go and we are in the competition. Human beings have a limit and sometimes these things happen.”
A winter break is a start, but that’s not nearly enough. Not with how many matches these players are expected to play each season. And it feels as though they’re being asked to play more and more each year. Injuries are always going to happen, but these schedules are getting out of control. Eventually the body breaks. De Bruyne isn’t the first, and he unfortunately won’t be the last.
Let’s see how the champions cope.