Pep Guardiola has suffered a huge blow after being told Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss Manchester City’s crunch showdown with Arsenal on Saturday.
De Bruyne suffered a leg muscle injury in Belgium’s 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley last weekend and was hauled off late on.
The PFA Player of the Year withdrew from the Belgium squad to face Iceland and returned to City to be examined and undergo treatment.
The problem is not thought to be serious, but it is understood De Bruyne will not be fit in time for the visit of the Gunners.
Guardiola is not prepared to take a chance with his most influential star and risk him making the injury worse.
Kevin De Bruyne was subbed off as Belgium lost to England on Sunday
The City boss would prefer to focus on having De Bruyne fit and available for his side’s Champions League group clash with Porto at the Etihad the following week.
De Bruyne, 29, had warned that many more players will get injured this season due to the lack of a proper rest during the off-season following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being without De Bruyne for the visit of the Gunners is a setback to Guardiola, whose side have taken just three points from their opening three league games this season to find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table.