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The Belgian midfielder is set to spend between five to six weeks on the sideline after suffering another knee injury, leaving Guardiola and Man City without its talisman for the November 11 home match against Manchester United. De Bruyne only just came back from two months on the sidelines with a knee injury, and was making his second start, first back in England since returning to full fitness. Man City confirmed that de Bruyne has ligament damage in his left knee, leaving him sidelined for more than a month.
De Bruyne suffered the injury after a collision with Fulham’s (on-loan from Manchester United) Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and immediately motioned to the bench that he needed to be substituted. De Bruyne was taken off in the 85th minute of Man City’s 2-0 league cup victory.
Without de Bruyne again, Guardiola must rely on the likes of Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan during a key stretch of matches in November and early December, perhaps even turning to Phil Foden or Brahim Diaz for support from the youth ranks.
For de Bruyne, it’s the latest setback in what’s been a frustrating year after the highs of making the 2018 World Cup semifinals. Guardiola had just praised de Bruyne for making his return, and now the Belgian has to start the recovery process all over again. On the bright side, if there is one, de Bruyne should be relatively healthy for the late-December matches around the busy holiday season, and with more gas in the tank for crucial UEFA Champions League matches in March, April and May.