Manchester City will be without Kevin De Bruyne for up to six weeks as the midfielder has a hamstring problem, Pep Guardiola confirmed to BBC Sport. The 29-year-old picked up the injury in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa and had to be withdrawn before the hour mark.
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De Bruyne has scored three goals and made 15 assists in 23 games across the board this season, so his absence will hurt City. Guardiola said as much too, admitting that “it’s a big blow” to lose his best playmaker for nearly two months. He called De Bruyne “quality” when he was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI for 2020 but will have to make do without him.
Guardiola explained: “The doctor said after reviewing the scan Kevin will be out for four to six weeks. It’s a big blow, but we have to move forward. I’m not saying anything that anyone doesn’t know – it is unfortunate for him and for us and we have to find a solution.”
De Bruyne missed Saturday’s FA Cup win over Cheltenham Town and may be out of action until March, so he stands to miss up to nine games in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League – West Bromwich Albion (January 26), Sheffield United (January 30), Burnley (February 3) and Liverpool (February 7), Swansea City (February 10), Tottenham Hotspur (February 13), Arsenal (February 21), Borussia Monchengladbach (February 24) and West Ham United (February 27).
Guardiola isn’t short on options in the Belgian’s absence, however. He has Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden who can occupy the playmaker role for City, so time will tell who gets the nod against Albion.