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“I had a kick” – Kevin De Bruyne issues fresh fitness update ahead of Manchester United showdown



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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has issued supporters with a fresh update on his fitness ahead of Sunday afternoon’s derby clash against rivals United.

The 32-year-old playmaker was kept away from the action in a recent Premier League meeting with Brentford at the Etihad Stadium, after Pep Guardiola later revealed that the Belgian had been suffering from “niggles” in his hamstring.

While the issue was made clear to be a precaution, concern over his fitness developed, until the player was made a part of Manchester City’s matchday squad that travelled for the 0-1 win against Bournemouth on Saturday evening.

The ultimate return from his minor setback came at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night however, as De Bruyne provided an outstanding four assists for Erling Haaland as part of their progression through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Speaking after the statement 2-6 victory over Luton in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday night, De Bruyne admitted that despite a recent scare concerning his hamstring, he continues to feel good following surgery last summer.

“I feel good,” De Bruyne said. “I think only against Brentford I was a little bit tired and I had a kick on my other hamstring. I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t risk that but I feel fine and I hope to maintain that.

“Normally I just play on but that’s mostly been my downfall before! In a way, I try to take care of myself but I also make decisions. Since I came back my hamstring for the surgery has been great so I’m very happy about that.”

He continued, “But I know if you don’t play for six months and come back you’re going to get niggles everywhere else. It’s normal and it’s fine.”

Manchester City are set to find out their opponents for the quarter-finals of this season’s FA Cup on Wednesday night, prior to Chelsea’s clash against Championship high-flyers Leeds United at Stamford Bridge.

Next up in the Premier League for Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions is bitter city rivals Manchester United, as they host Erik ten Hag’s men at the Etihad Stadium on a current 18-game unbeaten run across all competitions.

Guardiola is expected to issue a comprehensive fitness update on his squad during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, with Jack Grealish the latest to succumb to yet another muscular issue, having been withdrawn early from the contest with Luton.