Kevin De Bruyne remains a doubt for Manchester City’s Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur after Pep Guardiola confirmed he is yet to resume full training.
The Belgian midfielder returned to pre-season with an injury he suffered in this summer’s European Championships and, whilst his condition is improving, the City boss says his fitness needs to be monitored ahead of Sunday’s game in North London.
“He is getting better,” Guardiola explained at his pre-match press conference.
“Every day he is getting better, but we are still waiting.
“He can’t do a full training session. Some with us, some alone. We will see in the next few days.”
Phil Foden is definitely out of the weekend’s fixture as he continues to recover from the injury he picked up at EURO 2020, but there is better news regarding the rest of City’s England contingent.
Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker all returned to the City Football Academy on Tuesday alongside the Brazilian duo of Ederson and Gabriel Jesus and, despite having minimal preparation time for the new campaign, Guardiola says they are all ready for the new season.
“They came back really well,” he added when asked about the English players.
“The sun and rest, they produce a good effect for them. They came back really good.
“Everyone is ready. The important thing is when they come back they have good energy, the right energy.
“We need more time, but it is what it is. We travel to London to get a good result.”
It was not until Thursday – just three days before the Spurs game – that City’s first team squad were all together, but Guardiola has been delighted with the attitude and application he has seen.
In an ideal world the Catalan would have more time to prepare and, although he acknowledges there needs to be a degree of patience, including with Jack Grealish, he remains confident his players can get up to speed quickly once the season begins.
“Every player needs time to get his best,” said Pep when discussing his new signing.
“Yesterday was the first day we were altogether, except Phil because he is injured – but he was in the locker room with us. We need time. Every preseason is like this.
“Some players come back later than usual because they need rest after a tough season the previous one.
“The way they have behaved so far is exceptional as always. Soon we will get our best condition.”
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