Kevin De Bruyne has officially been ruled out for Belgium’s opening EURO 2020 fixture, as he is still recovering from the fractured nose and eye socket he suffered during the Champions League final.
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez revealed on Friday, 24 hours ahead of the Red Devils’ clash with Russia, that De Bruyne is still following an individual training program and is yet to join the squad for a session of full training. It does, however, sound like De Bruyne isn’t far off from resuming full training after arriving to camp a week late (he joined the team on Monday) — quotes from the AP:
“The next two days will be really important, just to get him back to really being able to move freely and start getting the exercise needed before he can come to the group.”
De Bruyne injury timeline
The proverbial path is pretty well cleared for De Bruyne to make his EURO 2020 debut in Belgium’s second group game, against Denmark in Copenhagen next Thursday, provided all goes well between now and then.
Hazard injury update
Right alongside De Bruyne on the injured list is another member of Belgium’s highly touted “golden generation,” winger Eden Hazard, who is working his way back to something resembling full fitness following a nightmarish, injury-riddled season at Real Madrid.
The 30-year-old isn’t expected to start against Russia, just as he didn’t during Belgium’s pre-EURO 2020 friendlies. Even once he reaches full fitness, there’s a strong case to be made that Hazard isn’t currently one of Martinez’s 11 best players and he should remain an impact substitute when Belgium heads into the knockout rounds.