Manchester City have confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne has sustained a serious knee injury, and will miss around three months of action - but will not require surgery.
The news comes after the highly influential Belgian was reported to have suffered a knee injury in training, suspected to be a lateral collateral ligament (LCL), but City have kept their cards close to their chest on the injury until now, confirming only that he would undergo tests to determine the extent of the injury.
They confirmed today, however, that it was indeed an LCL injury, and that De Bruyne would miss around three months of action - with the silver lining, however, that he would not require surgery.
The injury is thought to be similar to the one he suffered against Everton in 2016, after which he missed 12 matches, but it is as yet unconfirmed whether it is a recurrence of the same injury.
The news will come as a serious blow to City, who kicked off their defence of the Premier League title on Sunday with a 2-0 win at Arsenal without De Bruyne, who was limited to a substitute appearance after only just returning from World Cup duty with Belgium.
Now, however, City will have to do without the man many believe to be their best player until November at the earliest.
The November 11th Manchester derby could be a target if his recovery goes well, but the fixture away to West Ham a fortnight later looks a more realistic return date at this early stage.