Manchester City will need to be patient with Kevin De Bruyne as he returns from hamstring surgery. City manager Pep Guardiola has warned that it will take time for the inspirational midfielder to return to his best. After being out since August it will be a feel-good moment for the treble winners when De Bruyne does finally return to the pitch.
Speaking in the embargoed section of his pre-game press conference Guardiola wasn’t expecting the midfielder to return to his best instantly. He warned it may take time until De Bruyne returns to his best. Guardiola said when asked what he expects from the Belgian international: “I think it will be good. So when Kevin plays at his best level… Now I don’t ask Kevin to play at his level, it’s just to be calm and play good minutes, and do the principles that he has to do, and the rest will come. We cannot force him, a player with a long injury, this kind of situation. I think from my experience, I was a football player and it happened quite similar, I was one year with hamstring problems; when you come back you need time. It’s not, ‘OK, you play’ and it’s the best Kevin.”
With De Bruyne returning to the Manchester City squad last weekend against Sheffield United he may return to the pitch today against Huddersfield Town in today’s FA Cup third-round tie. It will be a great moment for City fans and the Manchester City squad to have one of their most inspirational figures back on the pitch.
But Pep Guardiola is right that it may take De Bruyne some time before he is back to his best. But despite this just having him back on the pitch should provide Guardiola’s squad with a massive boost given just how good a player he is.