Guardiola: De Bruyne nearing Man City return

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The Belgian has been hampered by injuries this season but the Manchester City midfielder is close to a comeback

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is closing in on a return from injury.

De Bruyne has been hampered by injuries this season, with the Belgium international damaging his left knee in November's EFL Cup win over Fulham.

The 27-year-old has only made five appearances in all competitions in 2018-19, having suffered lateral collateral ligament damage in his right knee in August.

Guardiola, though, said De Bruyne is nearing a comeback as Premier League leaders City prepare to face Chelsea on Saturday.

"I think he will be back training in maybe one week," Guardiola said.

"I said many times, I'd like to have Kevin available, but we try to not put pressure on one player and instead on everyone involved to make a good team.

"He is coming back. Sergio also in the next few days and weeks.

"Kevin was incredible last season but [Ilkay] Gundogan and Bernardo [Silva] have been outstanding.

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"He will see the pressure. My target as a manager is bring out the best in them and that is the best thing."

Manchester City currently sit atop the league with a two-point lead over second place Liverpool.

After Chelsea, Man City face Hoffenheim to wrap up the Champions League group stage before taking on Everton in the team's return to Premier League action.

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