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“Take a step back” – Pep Guardiola reveals how Kevin De Bruyne sustained fresh groin injury



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has detailed how Kevin De Bruyne sustained his latest injury setback that forced a withdrawal from Belgium international action.

Belgium confirmed this week that the 32-year-old attacking midfielder would be playing no part in their upcoming international friendly fixtures, crediting a ‘minor groin injury’ as being the reason behind his absence.

That withdrawal has also led to some concerns over just how long De Bruyne may be ruled out for, with the club’s upcoming two fixtures having huge weightings on their silverware hopes for the back-end of the season.

Manchester City welcome Newcastle to the Etihad this weekend, while a meeting with Arsenal in the Premier League awaits at the end of the month, and manager Pep Guardiola has been quizzed on the latest setback for his vice-captain.

Speaking to the media ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Newcastle on Saturday evening, Pep Guardiola has revealed that Kevin De Bruyne appeared to sustain his minor setback during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend.

“Well he’s not ready,” Guardiola began on De Bruyne, pointing towards this weekend’s meeting with Eddie Howe’s side at the Etihad Stadium. “He already played in Anfield with some problems, but he’s getting better.

“He’s not ready for tomorrow and I’m pretty sure of that. So we spoke with the manager of Belgium, Domenico Tedesco, and he decided and that’s why I’m grateful because he didn’t feel good and can recover for the last part of the season.”

Guardiola continued, “He played well (against Liverpool). All the players today in modern football, they are not clean, always they have problems, but one moment when he finished the game, the day after he didn’t feel good and it’s better to take a step back.”

Manchester City’s trophy-winning hopes will largely hinge on their ability to keep key players fit, and the upcoming international break could present a golden opportunity to place extra process on the recovery of De Bruyne, alongside Jack Grealish and Ederson.

With regards to Grealish, a decision was made within the club to grant the England international forward an extended period away to ensure that he could fully recover from a reoccurring groin issue.

As such, the 28-year-old could make himself available for the club’s next Premier League clash against Arsenal, should he make significant progress during Manchester City’s break from competitive duties across the next fortnight.