Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed he expects Kevin De Bruyne to return to action in January of 2024.
De Bruyne has not played since the opening game of the season, against Burnley, when he went off in the 23rd minute with a fatal hamstring injury. In his absence, Manchester City have still made a convincing start to the season.
And Guardiola is resigned to not having the Belgium international, who played a pivotal role in City winning the Treble last season, scoring ten goals and contributing 31, back in his City squad until the new year.
“If he said January, it will be January,” Guardiola said. “I would have loved to have him all season, but now he has had a tough injury and surgery, and he said it would be the end of December or new year, so it will be a happy new year for everyone.”
De Bruyne attended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix over the weekend. And when asked about his injury, he said his recovery was going well but that his return to action was not impending.
“It’s going well, getting along,” he said. “Still got a little way to go, but we’ll be there.”
On when he could return to the pitch, he added:
“Hopefully something close after the New Year, if everything goes well.”
City drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Saturday afternoon at the Etihad. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s strike 10 minutes from time cancelled out Erling Haaland’s first-half opener.
Guardiola’s side defeated RB Leipzig 3-2 on Tuesday night at the Etihad after conceding two goals in the first-half. Erling Haaland opened the scoring for City with Foden and Alvarez scoring one goal apiece.