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Kevin De Bruyne: Man City midfielder to miss up to four months and could require hamstring surgery

Man City head coach Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne may miss up to four months with a recurring hamstring injury which saw him substituted 23 minutes into Friday's 3-0 win at Burnley; De Bruyne was forced off in the Champions League final last season with the same problem

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Pep Guardiola said maybe he should not have started Kevin De Bruyne, who was substituted after 15 minutes during Man City’s 3-0 win against Burnley

Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne faces a "few months out" with a hamstring injury, with Manchester City now having to decide whether he will undergo surgery.

The 32-year-old midfielder was forced off in the first half of June's Champions League final triumph against Inter Milan and did not play a single minute of pre-season.

De Bruyne returned as a second-half substitute in the Community Shield shootout loss to Arsenal and captained the side against Burnley in Friday's Premier League opener.

But the Belgium playmaker only lasted 23 minutes at Turf Moor, where seemingly out of nothing he signalled to the bench that he had felt something.

Guardiola confirmed the issue related to the same hamstring and would see him miss "a few weeks", but it is worse than first feared and a decision has to be made over surgery.

"It's a serious injury," the City boss said in his press conference ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup game against Sevilla.

"We have to decide surgery or not surgery but a few months out."

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The decision on surgery will be taken in the coming days and could see him miss "three or four months", Guardiola added.

Kevin De Bruyne appears dejected after being substituted for an injury
Image: Kevin De Bruyne is set for a lengthy period out

When Guardiola was pressed on the reasons behind De Bruyne aggravating his hamstring problems, he appeared to lament the curtailed pre-season schedule following his side's treble-winning campaign.

"Give me 25 days of preparation, and you will not be injured. Of course, we could say 'don't play'. I spoke to the doctors and the physios with him, and he said he felt good. But unfortunately, it happened."

Kevin De Bruyne receives medical assistance after picking up an injury
Image: De Bruyne lasted just 23 minutes against Burnley

He missed most of City's pre-season but came off the bench in their Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on August 6, providing the assist for Cole Palmer's goal.

"Maybe [we shouldn't have taken a chance to start him]," Guardiola told Sky Sports after the win at Burnley.

"But what happens in 15 minutes can be an injury in 60, 65, 70 when the fatigue comes in the legs, but we have an injury in 15 minutes."

When asked if City could provide cover for De Bruyne by seeking reinforcements, Guardiola added: "We will see.

"After what happened, we've not talked to [director of football] Txiki (Begiristain) but we will see the chances and the possibilities."

Chance for Foden to step up?

Kevin De Bruyne looks dejected as he takes his place on the Man City bench after sustaining an injury
Image: De Bruyne is dejected as he takes his place on the bench

City midfielder Rodri revealed De Bruyne remained positive despite the obvious setback, and feels Phil Foden is capable to fill the creative void in a more central role.

"With Phil (Foden), it's not about Kevin's injury, he's a player who can play everywhere so let's see. I think he's our best player in between the lines and I like him there. But he is also very decisive out wide.

"He has the talent though to play in that central role so let's see where the manager decides to play him.

"I didn't know it was that much, honestly," added Rodri when the length of De Bruyne's absence was put to him. "He's one of the most important players in the club. For sure, we're going to miss him a lot and no one wants injuries.

"I saw him the other day and he was full of positivity. He has to recover and we're going to miss him but at the same time, we have a very complete squad to play without him for the time he is away. When he comes back, we will clearly be extremely happy to welcome him as he is a very important player for many years."

Manchester City's push for Paqueta

Manchester City want to sign West Ham's Lucas Paqueta

Manchester City are still pushing to sign West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

West Ham do not want to sell the player, but are aware of Paqueta's desire to make the move to the Etihad Stadium.

The Brazil international has maintained his professionalism and played against Bournemouth on Saturday.

West Ham are thought to value Paqueta in the region of £85m - and ideally would want a degree of certainty over a replacement if they allowed him to leave the London Stadium.

City's first verbal proposal is understood to have fallen well short of West Ham's valuation.

Manchester City's next six games

August 16: Sevilla (n) - UEFA Super Cup

August 19: Newcastle (h) - Premier League

August 27: Sheffield United (a) - Premier League

September 2: Fulham (h) - Premier League

September 16: West Ham (a) - Premier League

September 23: Nottingham Forest (h) - Premier League

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