The rest of Kevin De Bruyne’s EURO 2020 campaign is in doubt after the brilliant Belgian playmaker left Sunday’s last-16 clash against Portugal with an ankle injury just after the start of the second half, while Eden Hazard limped off with a hamstring issue too.
Ahead of their crunch quarterfinal clash against Italy on Friday, Roberto Martinez will be sweating on the fitness of his star duo.
And the latest reports state that both De Bruyne and Hazard have trained separately away from the team as they try to get fit for the huge clash.
It’s not like Belgium doesn’t have any other quality attackers to slot in, but losing KDB and Hazard for a huge game against red-hot Italy would not be ideal.
De Bruyne, who already missed out on Belgium’s first game and a half at EURO 2020 due to the facial fractures he suffered during the UEFA Champions League final, was subbed out in the 48th minute with the Red Devils 1-0 up on Portugal thanks to Thorgan Hazard’s laser-guided rocket (WATCH HERE – VIDEO) just before halftime.
The injury occurred when Joao Palhinha lunged in from behind and trapped the ankle of De Bruyne under his leg as he continued to stride forward.
De Bruyne’s left ankle could easily be seen rolling inward on slow-motion replay.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez gave this update after the game.
“It was a really bad tackle [on De Bruyne] and we will see. We have no diagnosis. Hazard is a muscle injury and we will see in 48 hours,” Martinez said straight after the game.
He then added this on their chances of playing on Friday against Italy.
“It’s quite positive for us. Eden and Kevin have no structural damage. They will remain with the squad. We won’t get them fully fit for Friday. In the next phase they will be fit to play. We take it day by day,” Martinez said.
De Bruyne and Hazard will both undergo scans in the next 24 hours to see if they can play against Italy in Munich on Friday.
Photos showed De Bruyne walking off the team plane with no protective boot and without a limp, so that is positive for the Belgium camp.
Both Hazard and De Bruyne have been nursed back