Manchester City has suffered the first major setback in its efforts to retain the Premier League title after Kevin De Bruyne suffered a suspected knee ligament tear.
Manchester City has suffered the first major setback in its efforts to retain the Premier League title after Kevin De Bruyne suffered a suspected knee ligament tear in training on Wednesday.
The news broke yesterday that De Bruyne had sustained the injury in training, and he turned up on crutches at the premiere of City's "All or Nothing" Amazon documentary last night.
It is understood that De Bruyne tore the lateral ligament in his right knee. City said in a statement that the Belgian would undergo tests to assess the severity of the injury, but a lay-off of between nine and 12 weeks is to be expected according to the Times.
De Bruyne suffered a similar injury against Everton in January 2016. On that occasion he was sidelined for 12 matches.
Manchester City have incredible strength-in-depth and the summer signing of Riyad Mahrez in particular should help them to cope with De Bruyne's absence.
Nevertheless, this is an undoubted blow for City as De Bruyne was their best player in last season's record-breaking, title-winning campaign.
The 27-year-old scored 12 goals and provided 21 assists, winning the inaugural Playmaker Award for the player who creates the most goals in the Premier League.
A 12-week period of absence would see De Bruyne miss 12 Premier League matches, including those against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United.
He would also miss Manchester City's first four matches of the Champions League group stage, as well as two potential League Cup ties.
City lost both Champions League matches in which De Bruyne did not play last season (vs. Shakhtar and Basel), as well as one of the two Premier League matches which he did not start (vs. Man Utd).