Kevin De Bruyne could be back from injury in time for the Manchester derby 3 years ago

Kevin De Bruyne could be back from injury in time for the Manchester derby

His return could be perfectly timed

Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne could return from his knee injury sooner than expected, according to Belgium coach Roberto Martínez.

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De Bruyne picked up a knee ligament injury on the opening weekend of the season while playing against Arsenal, and was expected to be out of action for a minimum of three months. However, speaking to reporters at a FIFA Football Conference on Sunday, his national team coach was much more optimistic about how quickly De Bruyne would recover.

"It was a freak accident, it happens, football is a contact sport," Martínez said.

"The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive. I think we'll see him on the pitch a lot earlier than other players would take with that injury (and) we think he could be even fresher after his period away.

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"No time scale yet, but Kevin wants to be on the football pitch as quick as he can and physically he's got that natural gift of being able to heal quicker than other players."

Manchester City have coped well in the absence of De Bruyne, with Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva stepping up in the central midfield positions, providing both goals and assists. De Bruyne's return will be a welcome boost though, given the role he played in their title winning campaign last season.

Last week, the player said he still needed between three and five weeks to be ready, and going by Martínez's comments, he could make a return to the Premier League after the October international break.

That would see him fit to play against Manchester United on November 11th. Last time City played their local rivals, they threw away a two goal lead in the second half, squandering the chance to lift the Premier League trophy in front of United. Pep Guardiola will be pleased by De Bruyne's progress and hoping that his star player is fit for the big game.

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