Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has returned to training for the Premier League champions after recovering from a muscle injury that sidelined the Belgian for its last two games, manager Pep Guardiola said on Monday.
De Bruyne did not feature in City's league defeat by Chelsea and Friday's 4-3 win at Newcastle United but he is available for selection as Guardiola looks to assess his match fitness ahead of the May 29 Champions League final against Chelsea.
"He's been training for the last two days, he feels good," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Tuesday's league trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.
"Kevin is important like everyone is. Everyone knows it but everyone is at the same level, we will see his level and see if he is fit to play."
Ferran Torres grabbed a hat-trick at Newcastle and though he is an option to lead the line, Guardiola said he would only play as a number nine if his main strikers were both injured.
"There's three games left, we use him in that position because (for) quite long period Sergio (Aguero) and Gabriel (Jesus) were injured and some games we needed a proper striker," Guardiola added.
"We used him and he played well. His position is a winger but it's an alternative we have. He can play both sides and in the middle, we have players who can play in different positions."
A limited number of fans will be allowed to enter stadiums again after COVID-19 restrictions were eased and Guardiola said he was looking forward to their final game of the season at home to Everton.
"That's good, tomorrow with Brighton fans and the last game we lift the trophy with fans in the Etihad and the final (in Porto) as well," Guardiola said.
ALSO READ |
The Manchester City talisman will join the Belgium squad only five days before its first Group B match against Russia in St Petersburg on June 12 – a calculated risk Martinez says he is taking to ensure his key midfielder is raring to go.
Belgium start pre-tournament preparations on May 31 and play friendlies against Greece on June 3 and Croatia on June 6.
But because De Bruyne is playing in the Champions League final for City against his old club Chelsea in Porto on May 29, he is not required by Martinez until June 7.
"Every player should be given some time with his family after the season," Martinez said on Monday as he named a 26-man squad for the tournament, where Belgium also face Denmark and Finland in Group B.
Belgium, top of the FIFA rankings for the last three years, are one of the favourites for the European title.
Latest on Sportstar
- Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao; La Liga LIVE: Benzema equalises through a penalty after Sancet goal; RMA 1-1 ATH
- Monfils and Svitolina - a support system for each other on and off the court
- Record-setting Djokovic wants to see ‘healthy’ Nadal back in 2024
- French Open: Alcaraz shuts out Musetti to progress to quarterfinals
- Sevilla’s Navas named Europa League Player of the Season