Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne will be ready for action “soon”.
The Belgian international has not returned for pre-season as he continues his recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered in the Champions League final against Inter Milan at the start of last month.
However, Guardiola says that, while he is not sure whether De Bruyne will be ready for the club’s next two friendlies, he should be available in the not-too-distant future:
“He feels much, much much better. I don’t know [about] Bayern Munich, I don’t know [about] the next game Atletico Madrid, because of course he has to train. But he is so close. He is coming back soon.”
It was reported a few weeks ago that De Bruyne may actually miss the start of the season, with the UEFA Super Cup being mentioned as a potential return fixture, but Guardiola’s comments seem to suggest that he will be back much earlier than that.
De Bruyne could be on the bench for the Community Shield
From the sound of things, the midfielder should be in contention for the Community Shield clash against Arsenal on Sunday, August 6th.
With the game just under two weeks away, there is a good chance that De Bruyne will be in the squad, although it would be a surprise if he is named in the starting lineup, considering his limited minutes in pre-season.
City have two testing friendlies before the Arsenal game
The treble winners have been ramping up their preparations for the new campaign. As Guardiola mentions, they will take on Bayern on Wednesday before their final warm-up game against Atletico this weekend.
As has been the case in recent years, City have a truncated pre-season schedule, having only played their first match against Yokohama F Marinos on Sunday.