The defending top-flight champions suffered a major injury blow yesterday with it suggested that play-maker De Bruyne, one of their best players last season, could be out for up to three months.
Pep Guardiola’s side have yet to receive more extensive results from scans but there are fears the Belgian could be out for an extended period after twisting his knee and suffering suspected ligament damage in training yesterday.
City had a premiere for their Amazon ‘All or Nothing’ documentary of last season’s title success to which De Bruyne turned up on crutches.
But right-back Kyle Walker has told City’s title rivals, of whom Liverpool are expected to threaten City the strongest, that they can cope without their Player of the Year.
Speaking to reporters on the blue carpet, Walker said: “Kevin is a great player and it’s just unfortunate that it’s happened to him in training.
“But there’s more than enough depth in the squad. We don’t just rely on one player.
“It’s a team game and whoever steps in will do well. Obviously it’s a big loss but we’ve got more than enough cover.”
But Ilkay Gundogan acknowledged the setback that a lengthy absence for De Bruyne – who only missed out to 32-goal Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah on last season’s PFA Player of the Year award – would have on City.
“He played an incredible season [last season],” the German midfielder said.
“He had so much impact on our game. He was maybe the main man for us last season.
“He is very important. We all hope that it is not too serious so he can get back on the training field as soon as possible.”
De Bruyne played in all but one of City’s Premier League matches last term and provided eight goals and 16 assists to further cement the idea that he is among the best midfielders in the world.
He helped Belgium to finish third at the World Cup earlier this summer with two assists and one goal in six matches in a more withdrawn role.
De Bruyne had only played the final 30 minutes of City’s opening Premier League win at Arsenal last Sunday as a result of his late return to pre-season.
In his absence, Guardiola can turn to the likes of David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan and Phil Foden in midfield.
City return to action against Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (1.30pm).
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