Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has suggested that Kevin de Bruyne's latest injury is down to a 'physiological issue' for the midfielder after he had to be substituted during their 1-0 win over Bournemouth.
De Bruyne's replacement, Riyad Mahrez, scored the winner for the visitors in the 55th minute, which saw them temporarily move top of the Premier League, ahead of Liverpool's game against Everton on Sunday.
Speaking post-match, as quoted by Sky Sports, he said: "John was a precaution. I think Kevin has a little bit of a muscular problem, but I said to him, you've played 25 times in 93 days, it is a physiological issue.
"We don't give the players time to recover and with the rhythm we play, after they have not physically recovered and then comes another game.
"So we play these kinds of games with a shorter space and we know it is demanding but we know that if we lose, we won't have a chance to win the title, that's why, I don't know what will happen at the end of the season, but for me, they have already won."
While the reigning Premier League champions dominated the game at the Vitality Stadium, recording 82% of the possession and having 23 shots compared to Bournemouth's zero, City could only score once, similarly to their previous game against West Ham, although Guardiola hailed the performance on the south coast as 'one of the best' during his tenure.
He added: "It was incredible, maybe one of the best performances we have ever played in our time together.
"There were ten players behind in every movement, there was the second balls, the set-pieces, the throw-ins - everyone was focused to control all aspects of the football so it's incredible.
"We played 25 games in 93 days, with one game every three or six days at that level, so it was incredible. I'm delighted, it is a joy and a pleasure to be part of this team."