Man City sweating on Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness for Arsenal clash after being sent back with injury from Belgium duty

KEVIN DE BRUYNE has been sent back to Manchester City after his injury scare at Wembley on Sunday.

The Belgium international looked in some discomfort when he was subbed late in the 2-1 defeat to England.

Kevin De Bruyne faces a race against time to be fit to face Arsenal on Saturday

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Kevin De Bruyne faces a race against time to be fit to face Arsenal on SaturdayCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He spent Monday with the rest of Roberto Martinez’s squad in London – and was even pictured out on his bike with team-mates.

However it was decided he would not be ready to play against Iceland tomorrow night – so will not board the flight to Reykjavik today.

Instead he will return to the Etihad where City will be keen to see if there are any major issues with a game against Arsenal looming on Saturday.

A tweet from the Belgium FA read: “Kevin De Bruyne has returned to his club. He couldn’t be fit enough to play against Iceland.”

It will be a worry for Pep Guardiola who has already seen the first few weeks of City’s season wrecked by illness and injuries.

Martinez insisted after the game at Wembley that there was no major concern for his midfielder – but did say he was not feeling quite right.

The former Everton boss said: “I would not say that Kevin is injured. He said he felt something.

“It is too early to know what he has, but he did not feel a hundred per cent. It was rather a precautionary change.”

The Manchester City star was subbed off late on in the defeat to England at Wembley

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The Manchester City star was subbed off late on in the defeat to England at WembleyCredit: AP:Associated Press

Ironically De Bruyne, 29, warned at the weekend that many players will get injured this season due to the heavy workload and lack of a proper summer break.

Guardiola is hoping to have at least one forward back to face Arsenal with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero making good progress in their recoveries.

Raheem Sterling pulled out of the international games due to a minor hamstring problem – which City do not believe is a major issue.

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Belgium manager provides crucial fitness update on Kevin De Bruyne

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has admitted that last night’s late substitution of Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was one of ‘precaution’ as he was ‘not feeling 100%’.

Speaking post-match after his sides 2-1 loss to England – with quotes relayed by the MEN – Martinez said:

“I would not say that Kevin is injured. He said he felt something. It is too early to know what he has, but he did not feel a hundred percent. It was rather a precautionary change…”

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(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Despite Roberto Martinez not suggesting any major injury concern, the scare may rule him out of Belgium’s UEFA Nations League game against Iceland on Wednesday afternoon.

With the squad already in England, De Bruyne may only be asked to make the short trip up back to Manchester to rejoin his club side in preparation for upcoming games.

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Hazard must prove fitness before playing for Belgium



Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Manchester City v Real Madrid


© Reuters/PETER POWELL
Champions League – Round of 16 Second Leg – Manchester City v Real Madrid

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Injury plagued Eden Hazard will have to play some football for Real Madrid in their next two games or will be left out of Belgium’s squad for their three internationals in October, coach Roberto Martinez said on Wednesday.

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Hazard, 29, has yet to play this season as he has struggled with an ankle injury and faces a race to be fit for Real’s La Liga matches against Real Valladolid on Wednesday and at Levante on Sunday.

“If Eden gets onto the pitch at Real he will join us but if not, then he will stay and train individually in Madrid,” said Martinez as he named a 33-man squad for the trio of matches.

Belgium meet the Ivory Coast in Brussels on Oct. 8 in a friendly and then play England away on Oct. 11 and Iceland on Oct. 14 in the Nations League.

“We are working closely with Real,” added Martinez about Hazard’s recovery from a fracture suffered in February.

“If he is 100 percent fit he will be on the pitch for Real and if he is on the pitch he will come to the national team next week.”

Five players from the country’s under-21 team were included in the senior squad for the first time as the coach promised no player would feature in all of the three games.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Anderlecht)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Sebastiaan Bornauw (FC Cologne), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City), Jason Denayer (Olympique Lyonnais), Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Joris Kayembe (Charleroi), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liege), Jan Vertonghen (Benfica)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Nacer Chadli (Monaco), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Dennis Praet (Leicester City), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Leandro Trossard (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke (both Crystal Palace), Jeremy Doku (Anderlecht), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha Berlin), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Divock Origi (Liverpool).

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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