By 90Min
September 24, 2018

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has claimed that midfield star Kevin de Bruyne is healing very well and will return to playing much sooner than first thought.

The Manchester City ace suffered a damaged ligament in his right knee during training last month and was subsequently ruled out for three months.

James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

However, according to Martinez - who coached the Red Devils to a third-place finish in the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the back of an impressive campaign - the midfielder could be back earlier than expected.

"It was a freak accident, it happens, football is a contact sport," he said, speaking at a FIFA Football Conference in London (via itv.com).

"The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive. I think we'll see him on the pitch a lot earlier than other players would take with that injury (and) we think he could be even fresher after his period away.

"No timescale yet but Kevin wants to be on the football pitch as quick as he can and physically he's got that natural gift of being able to heal quicker than other players."

Michael Regan/GettyImages

Last week, De Bruyne revealed he would be need four or five more weeks to fully recover from his knee injury and is hoping to be ready to play in the Manchester derby, which is set for November 11 at City's Etihad Stadium,

"I still need three, four, five weeks, but I'm getting there," he said at the FIFA 19 launch last Thursday.

"Hopefully I can be back soon, help the team, and perform well. I'm hoping to be back after the next international break. I think I will be back for the derby."

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