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Report: Kevin De Bruyne to Miss Target Return Date from Knee Injury

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City goes down injured in the second half during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester City and Fulham at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne's injury woes are set to continue at Manchester City, with the Belgian superstar reportedly set to miss more playing time. 

Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News reported the midfielder was being prepared for a return to first-team action at home to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, but he might not be ready to play until City meet Chelsea a week later. The player is "fighting to be fit" for the vital clash against his former side at Stamford Bridge.

De Bruyne has sustained knee ligament damage three times in the past three seasons, and the player will not be rushed back despite his enthusiasm to return.

Per Brennan, De Bruyne had already been ruled out for a month after his latest injury setback against Fulham in the Carabao Cup but had hoped to start training once again in preparation for this weekend's fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01:  Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City goes down injured during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester City and Fulham at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Ge
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Brennan's sources now say this is unlikely, and the player is also set to miss the following Premier League encounter at Watford in mid-week.

City have coped well during De Bruyne's absence, with Raheem Sterling stepping up to the plate to lead the English champions' attacking creativity.

However, City manager Pep Guardiola would dearly like his forward to be back in contention when his side travel to west London on Saturday, December 8.

City currently lead Chelsea by seven points in the league, and victory in the capital would severely damage the Blues' chances of catching Guardiola's men in the months ahead.

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