Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne is set begin the next phase of his rehabilitation following a knee injury, which will see him make further progress in his bid to return to match fitness before the originally estimated target of three months.
According to The Sun, the midfield ace travelled to Barcelona last week to have further assessment of his lateral knee ligament damage, and was informed that he wouldn't require surgery for the injury. The former Chelsea man was also pictured at the pitch side before his side's 2-1 win over Newcastle, where he was seen to be walking without crutches.
City fans will be desperate to see the Belgium star make a return soon, given the pivotal role he played in the club's title winning campaign last season. In the 2017/18 campaign, de Bruyne featured in all but one league match - scoring eight goals and providing 16 assists as his side powered to the Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola's side currently sit third in the table, two points behind Liverpool and Chelsea after four matches. The Citizens have a wealth of midfield options available to them, and boast one of the strongest squads in the league, but de Bruyne's passing range and technical skills will make him a huge miss in the upcoming weeks.
Meanwhile, Guardiola heaped praise on Raheem Sterling following his side's win over Newcastle, claiming that the England international performance was crucial to his side claiming the three points. Sterling scored the opening goal of the match, and caused the visitors problems throughout the match with his tireless attacking play.