One of the first major injuries of the 2023/24 season has befallen Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.
The Belgian midfielder was substituted in the first half of City’s opening game win over Burnley last week.
Now he is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with BBC Sport reporting he could undergo surgery on his injured hamstring, and is expected to be out for four months.
The injury could have implications for City’s title defence and open doors for other teams in the opening months of the season, Manchester United included.
De Bruyne set to miss Manchester derby
The first Manchester derby of the season is scheduled for October 28 at Old Trafford, in two and a half months time.
BBC Sport report the best case scenario for De Bruyne is to be back in three months, and so the Manchester derby would still be too soon.
City are a team packed with stars, but he along with Erling Haaland is surely the one they really do not want to lose for a substantial period of time.
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De Bruyne has caused United all sorts of problems in recent seasons, and any match where you don’t have to play against him, is simpler than one where you do, even though City will have high-quality replacement options.
Manchester United may have injury problems of our own to contend with by time the derby comes around. And while this injury to De Bruyne is not one to celebrate, that would be in poor taste, it’s just one to take note of.
Arsenal set to be without Jurrien Timber
This is not the only severe injury to affect one of Manchester United’s title or top four rivals early in the season.
Former Ajax defender Jurrien Timber signed for Arsenal in the summer and The Telegraph report he has a suspected ACL tear.
This could rule him out for the rest of the season, and in the very short-term, out of Manchester United’s visit to Arsenal at te start of September.