Pep Guardiola has handed Manchester City fans a boost ahead of the new season with the news that David Silva may be fit for the club's curtain raiser in just over two weeks' time.
The veteran playmaker has been nursing a groin injury that he sustained on the club's pre-season tour of the USA, and had looked to be a doubt for City's opening 2017/18 Premier League fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, speaking after his side's thumping 4-1 victory over Real Madrid on Wednesday - via the club's website - Guardiola revealed that Silva could be fit enough to feature against the Gulls, while also providing an update on two other injured members of his senior squad.
The Spaniard stated: “David Silva may be ready for the start of the season, but (Benjamin) Mendy has a muscular injury and he needs two or three more weeks, we don’t want to take any risks. Ilkay (Gundogan) also is not ready.”
Summer arrival Mendy is recovering from a knee injury picked up with France in mid-June, while Gundogan continues his rehabilitation from a cruciate knee ligament tear sustained last December.
Meanwhile, Guardiola has heaped praise on Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium international's virtuoso display against Los Blancos in Los Angeles.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder laid on the assists for his team's opening three goals against Zinedine Zidane's men, with Raheem Sterling, John Stones and teenage attacker Brahim Diaz all benefitting from his passing range and vision.
Guardiola lauded the ex-Chelsea man's performance and claimed that, on days like this, there were few players who could hold a candle to De Bruyne's natural footballing ability.
He said: “It is difficult to find a player with his quality, this is a guy who fights, passes, does many things.
“Since I arrived, I think Kevin, when his mood is optimistic he makes a performance like this and it is difficult to find a player with his quality - a guy who fights, passes and assists. He can do whatever he wants.”