Kevin de Bruyne

Knee injury sees Chelsea’s Kevin de Bruyne return to London

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There are better times to come down with an injury than in the preseason, when you’re returning to a club that loaned you out, while you’re trying to impress a new manager who will decide what role you’ll play on a talent rich squad. True, Kevin de Bruyne’s problem is happening before the games actually count, but if his knee injury is more serious than originally feared, the Chelsea attacker may be left playing catch up when the season starts next month.

The 22-year-old is on his way back to London from Asia, where Chelsea are in the middle of preseason preparations that include a 4-1 Sunday win over a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lampur. Unfortunately for the Blues, that match saw de Bruyne leave early after injuring his right knee on this goal:

Chelsea’s decided to send de Bruyne back to England to have his knee evaluated. If the assessment proves merely precautionary, the young Belgian will rejoin the team in the United States ahead of the upcoming Champions Cup.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho, on de Bruyne’s injury:

“When he was on the floor and asking for a change, we thought the worst …”

“But the first assessment by the doctor was that it was not the ligaments for sure, and if it is something in the meniscus then it has to be a very small injury.

“So we believe it is not an important injury and hopefully it isn’t because the kid is a fantastic player.”

Last year while on loan at Werder Bremen, de Bruyne posted 10 goals and nine assists in 32 Bundesliga games, numbers that naturally boosted expectations of what the former Genk player could do if kept at Stamford Bridge. Through preseason, the Belgian international’s made his mark, with Mourinho describing him as a player who “is going to be a key man on the pitch.” On Sunday, he started between Eden Hazard and Bertrand Traoré in the attacking three of Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

That regard may be the reason Chelsea’s being so cautious. Just as Manchester United left Wayne Rooney at home when the attacker came up with a hamstring problem, the Blues are getting de Bruyne back to London so that, if the evaluation does find something, he can be treated at home.

How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).