Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is understood to have avoided a serious ankle injury and is expected to return to action before the end of the season.
The Belgian was forced off early in the second half of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea after his ankle appeared to get caught in the ground in a challenge with N’Golo Kante. The incident prompted fears that his season could be over.
According to The Times, the 29-year-old was genuinely concerned that he could miss a significant part of the next few months because of the injury, but The Athletic note that the latest scans have alleviated those fears somewhat.
De Bruyne has not broken any bones or suffered a serious tear, although he was still in discomfort and the swelling on his ankle meant further examinations could not be done accurately.
Because of the uncertainty, City, Belgium and other medical departments are all operating on different schedules as to when De Bruyne might be back in action, but the general consensus is that it might not be too long from now.
Having said that, doctors of the Belgian national team have estimated De Bruyne could miss two to six weeks – far longer than the one or two weeks estimated by most others.
His involvement in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur seems incredibly unlikely, and De Bruyne also faces a race against time to recover in time for either leg of the Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain. The Parc des Princes will host the first leg on April 28, before the return fixture a week later on May 4.
There will be further scans on Monday to try and determine the true severity of the injury, but if the swelling remains, those checks could be postponed until Tuesday.
City boss Pep Guardiola will be desperate to get De Bruyne back as soon as possible as he prepares his side for a run-in which could go down in history.
The Premier League title is all but sealed, and City will expect to make it a double when they head to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final, but most importantly, they have a real chance to finally win Europe’s biggest prize, the Champions League.
City are seen as one of the favourites to go all the way, particularly if they can come out on top against PSG in the semi-final, and having De Bruyne back would go a long way to boosting City’s chances.