Pep Guardiola moved to calm fears of another long lay-off for Kevin de Bruyne after Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.
De Bruyne is a doubt for City’s Premier League clash at home to Wolves on Sunday after missing Tuesday night’s Champions League clash at the Etihad with a groin injury.
City fans were nervous when it was announced De Bruyne would miss the game against Zagreb , with the hugely influential midfielder in good form recently after missing most of last season with various injury problems.
But Guardiola has reassured supporters that the Belgian playmaker should be back for the visit to Crystal Palace on October 19 following the upcoming international break.
The City manager said De Bruyne could even be in contention to face Wolves.
“It’s not serious, today he could not play but we’ll see for Sunday,” said Guardiola in quotes reported by ESPN .
“Right now I don’t know. Maybe he can if we take a risk but I think after the international break he’ll be fit.”
City missed De Bruyne’s creativity in midfield and were not able to break down their Croatian opponents until Raheem Sterling came off the bench and hit a 66th-minute opener.
Phil Foden sealed the win after having to wait until added time to get on the pitch.
Guardiola admits he has been “unfair” on Foden, but says he will have to continue to be patient because the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Rodri are ahead of him.
Guardiola also praised Ilkay Gundogan, who almost gave Cit an early lead when his shot from the edge of the area came back off the bar.
“You cannot believe how good he is,” said Guardiola. “He is an exceptional player. I missed him in our first year here when he was out for six months. One of the best signings this club has made in its history.”