Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne’s recovery from a knee ligament injury is progressing faster than expected.
De Bruyne has established himself as one of the best-attacking midfielders in the Premier League since moving to the Etihad in a £57 million deal from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in the summer of 2015.
The 27-year-old was one of the stars of Belgium’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia earlier this summer, but he then suffered a serious knee injury during pre-season training with Man City and the initial prognosis suggested he would miss up to four months of action.
However, former Everton and Wigan boss Martinez has confirmed that he expects De Bruyne to be back playing earlier than expected.
“It was a freak accident, it happens, football is a contact sport,” Martinez told journalists at the FIFA Football Conference in London.
“The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive. I think we’ll see him on the pitch a lot earlier than other players would take with that injury (and) we think he could be even fresher after his period away.
“No time scale yet but Kevin wants to be on the football pitch as quick as he can and physically he’s got that natural gift of being able to heal quicker than other players.”