Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has stepped up his rehabilitation programme in an attempt to return to full fitness in time for the highly anticipated Manchester derby in November, according to reports.
The Belgium international has only made one appearance this season as a second half substitute against Arsenal due to an injury he suffered in training, with early reports suggesting De Bruyne could be out of action until December.
"We can confirm Kevin De Bruyne has suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) lesion in his right knee," Manchester City said last month. "No surgery is required, and the midfielder is expected to be out for around three months.
However, a report from the Daily Star claims that the midfielder could return earlier than expected, with De Bruyne now having his sights set on being included in the match day squad for the Manchester derby on November 11.
De Bruyne underwent a consultation with doctor Ramon Cugat in Barcelona two weeks ago and it was then that the midfielder was told he could undergo a rehab programme which could bring him back to training by the end of October.
Despite missing their key player, Manchester City are one of just three teams to remain unbeaten this season.
Pep Guardiola's side currently sit two points behind Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table following their surprise draw against Wolves last month, but the Citizens can close the gap when they travel to Anfield on October 7.
De Bruyne is expected to miss Manchester City's opening four games in the Champions League group stages this season against Lyon, Hoffenheim and twice against Shakhtar Donetsk, but the Belgian playmaker should be in line to return when the club travels to the Groupama Stadium in November.