Kevin De Bruyne is unlikely to feature in Belgium's opening fixture at Euro 2020, says Roberto Martinez, with it also confirmed that the Manchester City midfielder will have to wear a mask when returning to action.
A talented 29-year-old midfielder suffered facial injuries when turning out for his club in the Champions League final on May 29.
He has avoided the need for surgery, in a welcome boost for his national side, but a meeting with Russia on June 12 is set to come too soon for a man who is working with the same company that produced a protective covering for former Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen in 2019.
What has been said?
Belgium boss Martinez has told reporters when offering an update on a key part of his plans: "De Bruyne is unlikely to be fit for that first match so whoever replaces him will have to show he's ready.
"We made a decision about his mask. It will be one of the producers who made Jan Vertonghen's mask. We were very satisfied with that.
"I would say that until next week we won't know exactly where we are with Kevin. Now, allow him to relax.
"He could be available for the Euros but we don't know when at the moment. It's too early to give you an answer now, we must first get the green light from the medical side."
When could De Bruyne figure again?Getty Images
There were initial fears that De Bruyne would be forced to sit out all of this summer's European Championship after picking up an untimely injury.
He has suffered fractures to his nose and eye socket after colliding with Antonio Rudiger during City's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in a continental showpiece.
While he is unlikely to figure against Russia when Belgium open their latest bid for international glory, he may yet have a prominent role to play for the Red Devils.
Martinez's men are due to face Denmark on June 17 and Finland in their final Group B fixture on June 21.