Pep Guardiola said it is possible he can take a “risk” on Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness for Manchester City’s Premier League contest against Wolves on Sunday.
City star De Bruyne was absent for Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb at the Etihad Stadium due to a minor groin injury.
De Bruyne has nine assists in as many competitive games this term and City missed his incision against Dinamo, where Raheem Sterling came off the bench to score the opener then set up Phil Foden in added time to keep Guardiola’s side perfect in Group C.
City manager Guardiola said there is a chance De Bruyne could be back for the Wolves fixture but is confident he will return after the international break regardless.
“It’s not serious, but today he could not play,” Guardiola told a news conference of De Bruyne’s injury. “We’ll see next Sunday.
“For the weekend, right now I don’t know. Maybe he can get fit. We are going to see if we can take a risk.
“I think after the international break he will be fit.”
Sterling backed Foden for an England call-up after the teenager’s second Champions League goal, with Guardiola apologising to the local-born midfielder for not giving him more opportunities.
“He deserves to play,” Guardiola added. “Every time he plays I am unfair to him. I’m sorry.
“But there is David Silva, there is Kevin De Bruyne, there is [Ilkay] Gundogan, there is Bernardo [Silva] there is Rodri. I am so sorry.
“The best way to grow and grow is to play minutes. He is going to be an incredible player for us. We trust a lot in him. It is what it is.”
Dinamo thumped Atalanta 4-0 in their Group C opener and head coach Nenad Bjelica was not disconsolate with his side’s performance against the Premier League champions.
“After we conceded we tried to turn to attack more, we had an open match against Manchester City until the end and it is not a small thing,” he said. “They are a level above us and they showed that today.
“We conceded that first goal in the best phase of our play. We were nervous a lot during the match, making mistakes, the home team had a lot of good chances.”