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Kevin De Bruyne makes surprise playing-time admission after injury return



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Kevin De Bruyne has revealed his playing-time expectations after returning to Manchester City duty from a hamstring injury.

The Belgian has been missing from action since injuring his hamstring against Burnley in Manchester City’s Premier League opener in August. But De Bruyne made his return last week after recovering from surgery.

The 32-year-old marked his return to the pitch with vintage assist, finding Jeremy Doku at the back-post with a chipped cross that put City five ahead of Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup third round last weekend.

While things are looking for De Bruyne, the midfielder could not help but reminisce on when his hamstring injury was a constant worry. Speaking in a recent interview with the Independent, De Bruyne looked back on his struggles.

“Whenever I was training in Japan or for the Community Shield and Burnley, everything was fine,” De Bruyne said.

He continued, “I had three hamstring (injuries) in a row but they were nowhere near the same place. I had so much scar tissue that it could snap at any moment.”

Nevertheless, the operation on De Bruuyne’s hamstring appeared to be the successful as the midfielder gets slowly introduced back into the fold by City boss Pep Guardiola.

‘Slowly’ could be the key word for the Belgian as well, as he revealed his expectations when it comes to playing-time down in the coming weeks as he regains his form and fitness.

“I don’t expect to be playing too many games, De Bruyne said. “Newcastle next week is a big game so I’ll expect to be back on the bench.

“I want to play every game but I know in the back of my mind I need to take care of myself.”

Manchester City only play twice more before the end of January, meaning De Bruyne could be sitting for a while as he regains his match-sharpness.

However, February brings a busy schedule for City as they will play a total of five games in 28 days thanks to the return of the Champions League.

Meanwhile, City will next turn their focus to Newcastle United as they look to close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool with a win at St. James’s Park on Saturday.