Pep Guardiola has hinted that Kevin De Bruyne could make an early return for Manchester City this weekend, just seven weeks after he suffered a serious ligament injury.
De Bruyne has only played 30 minutes of Premier League football so far this season, having suffered a knee injury in training after City's first game of the season against Arsenal.
It was feared at the time that he would be absent for three months but after undergoing treatment in Barcelona, the Belgian returned to training this week and could even feature against Liverpool on Sunday according to Guardiola.
"He made part of the training today," Guardiola said about De Bruyne, quoted by the Independent. "He's training with us, yeah."
This news comes a huge boost to City ahead of a match that many people are labelling the biggest of the season so far. Only goal difference separates City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
Guardiola also confirmed that Benjamin Mendy was back in training after a brief spell on the sidelines, and he too is in contention to start on Sunday.
However, Ilkay Gundogan is a doubt, having missed training on Friday due to a muscle problem. The German played 68 minutes of City's Champions League victory at Hoffenheim on Tuesday.
"Gundogan has a problem with his muscle, I don’t know his injury," Guardiola added. "We’ll check it tomorrow."
De Bruyne back? Guardiola says "everybody is ok, Delph is not available, Gundogan is a little bit problems but everybody is ok." On KDB: "he played today." Is he in the squad? "He's training with us yeah"— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) October 5, 2018
De Bruyne got more assists than any other Premier League player last season and was narrowly beaten to the PFA Player of the Year award by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.