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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Manchester City hit by fresh Kevin De Bruyne injury blow as crucial fixtures loom

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Kevin De Bruyne has provided Manchester City with a fresh injury concern ahead of their crucial Premier League clash with Arsenal after Belgium decided it was too risky to call up their captain.

Belgium manager Domenico Tedesco omitted the midfielder from his squad for the March friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and England because of a groin problem.

De Bruyne, who was out for five months after having hamstring surgery in August, has been handled carefully by Pep Guardiola, starting only five of City’s last 10 matches in all competitions.

And Tedesco said: “He’s been playing with a minor groin issue during the last games. Yesterday I spoke to the doctor and Kevin and we decided that the risk is too big. It’s better to give him time to recover well at City and then have him ready for the Euros.”

City host Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday, while they face Arsenal on 31 March in a game that could go a long way to deciding the title. They are set to be without goalkeeper Ederson, who was injured in Sunday’s 1-1 with Liverpool.

De Bruyne, who has 11 assists in 12 outings for City since returning to the side in January, has only completed 90 minutes five times in the last 10 months. He has been stuck on 99 caps for Belgium for almost a year.

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