Ilkay Gundogan says he is ready to step up to the plate after Kevin De Bruyne suffered a knee injury in training.
De Bruyne missed 12 games in 2016 with an injury right knee, and while the extent of his latest knock his not yet known – there are fears the Belgian could have suffered a repeat of the same injury from two years ago.
The 27-year-old has been pictured today in a knee brace and using crutches to help him walk, meaning he will almost certainly miss this weekend’s clash against Huddersfield Town, while the subsequent games against Wolves and Newcastle also look doubtful.
While De Bruyne’s injury is a set-back for City however, Gundogan believes he can help fill the void left the Belgian’s absence.
“He played an incredible season [last season]. He had so much impact on our game. He was maybe the main man for us last season,” said Gundogan when asked about his team-mates injury.
“He is very important. We all hope that it is not too serious so he can get back on the training field as soon as possible.”
He continued: “I do feel fresh – maybe because the World Cup was also very short for us [Germany], unfortunately.
“But I do feel ready. I was able to play nearly a full season last season after having big injuries. It was tough.
“At the end, I look at my stats and I made about 50 games last season. It was a really good run for myself. So, I hope this one will be similar, especially in terms of the way we play and in terms of winning.”