Kevin De Bruyne Subbed Off with Hamstring Injury vs. Bournemouth

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne leaves the pitch after being substituted off during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Manchester City at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was substituted with an injury on Saturday during his team's showdown with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League.

City confirmed the change in the first period, with Riyad Mahrez introduced into the game for the Belgium international:

Manchester City @ManCity

CITY SUB | @Mahrez22 🔄 @DeBruyneKev KDB signals that he can't continue after passing the ball forward - appearing to have pulled something 😔 🍒 0-0 🔵 #BOUMCI #mancity https://t.co/sO7OpYT71r

The nature of the injury was not initially clear, as De Bruyne didn't appear to pick up the problem in a challenge, although the Manchester Evening News reported it's a hamstring issue:

Manchester City News @ManCityMEN

Kevin De Bruyne has gone off with a suspected hamstring injury just before half-time. #BOUMCI https://t.co/TXgzmoMphT

After the game, which City eventually won 1-0 thanks to Mahrez's goal, the player tried to ease fears that he was set for another long time out:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

De Bruyne seems fine, insists it was mainly a precaution why he went off. He’s not sure if back for the next game but says “it’s not so bad”

However, manager Pep Guardiola told reporters the talented playmaker could be out "a while." 

He has already missed a significant portion of the 2018-19 campaign for his club because of a pair of injury issues.

In August, he picked up a knee ligament tear that sidelined him until October. However, upon his return, the former Wolfsburg and Chelsea man had another issue, prompting a further couple of months out of action.

As a result, De Bruyne has been limited to six Premier League starts this season.

Despite the Belgian's absence, the Premier League champions have thrived under manager Pep Guardiola.

Before the match with the Cherries, they were a point behind league leaders Liverpool; City also won the Carabao Cup last weekend and remain in contention for both FA Cup and UEFA Champions League glory.

While City have so many quality performers to call upon in midfield, few can replicate De Bruyne's influence when he's at full tilt. He is dynamic and direct on the ball, while his technical ability is among the best in the game, as he can find incisive passes in the final third and score himself.

City's ability to cope without De Bruyne has already been impressive this season, with Bernardo Silva and David Silva excelling. Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden are other fine alternatives in the central-midfield berths.