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Pep Guardiola provides promising Kevin De Bruyne injury update ahead of upcoming campaign



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has provided a promising update on the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne, who suffered a hamstring injury during the UEFA Champions League Final.

The Belgian was forced off midway through the first-half of the historic victory in Istanbul last month, with De Bruyne’s second Champions League Final for Manchester City ending in personal heartbreak, after suffering an injury.

De Bruyne, who was also replaced during the 2021 Champions League Final after a nasty collision caused the 32-year-old to fracture his eye socket, suffered a hamstring tear during the win against Inter Milan in June, having been nursing an injury for a number of weeks.

Phil Foden replaced De Bruyne in the 35th minute at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, as Rodri’s powerful strike secured Manchester City’s maiden Champions League and a landmark treble.

De Bruyne featured in 49 matches for the Sky Blues last season, though missed a number of games towards the end of the campaign due to a hamstring problem.

The midfielder registered 16 Premier League assists last season – four more than any other player.

The 32-year-old also netted 10 goals, including a crucial strike against title rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, and a brace against the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium.

Furthermore, De Bruyne’s thumping first-leg equaliser at the Santiago Bernabéu helped Manchester City to victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Belgian’s injury was expected to sideline the midfielder for the start of the new campaign, with matches against Arsenal, Burnley, Sevilla and Newcastle during the opening two weeks of the season for Pep Guardiola’s side.

City face Arsenal in the FA Community Shield before starting their Premier League title defence at Turf Moor on Friday 11th August.

The UEFA Super Cup in Athens on Wednesday 16th August had previously been earmarked as a potential return date for De Bruyne, with the 32-year-old currently doing light exercise as part of Manchester City’s pre-season tour.

However, Pep Guardiola revealed that the midfielder could feature during the Blues’ pre-season friendlies, a major boost to Manchester City’s preparations for the new campaign.

City have matches against both Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid upcoming, after starting their pre-season tour of Asia with a 5-3 win over Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan on Sunday.

Speaking about De Bruyne after the match, Guardiola said: “He feels much, much much better.

“I don’t know [about] Bayern Munich, I don’t know [about] the next game Atletico Madrid, because of course he has to train. But he is so close. He is coming back soon.”

Manchester City play Bayern Munich on Wednesday, before concluding their pre-season tour in South Korea next weekend against Atletico Madrid.

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