De Bruyne Out of Belgium Squad for Friendlies Due to Groin Injury

De Bruyne Out of Belgium Squad for Friendlies Due to Groin Injury

Manchester City’s midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne has been omitted from the Belgium squad for upcoming friendlies against Ireland and England due to a persistent groin issue. Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco confirmed the news on Thursday, citing concerns over De Bruyne’s fitness ahead of the European Championship this summer.

De Bruyne has endured a challenging season, having undergone hamstring surgery in August after sustaining an injury on the opening day of the Premier League. The Belgian international was sidelined for nearly five months, and since his return in January, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has carefully managed his workload.

Guardiola opted to rest De Bruyne for the match against Brentford on February 20 due to lingering hamstring discomfort. While De Bruyne made a substitute appearance in the subsequent victory over Bournemouth, he has since started three of City’s last four games. However, his substitution in the 69th minute of the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday raised concerns about his fitness.

Tedesco explained that De Bruyne’s groin injury has been a concern in recent matches. After consulting with the team doctor and De Bruyne himself, the decision was made to prioritize his recovery and rehabilitation with Manchester City.

“If the risk of an injury is too high, it’s our responsibility to say it’s better to protect him,” Tedesco said. “And then to have him ready for the Euros. We can’t take risks at this moment with any player, especially not with Kevin.”

Belgium’s preparations for Euro 2024 will continue with friendlies against Ireland on March 23 and England at Wembley Stadium three days later. However, De Bruyne’s absence will be a significant blow to the Red Devils, who will be looking to build momentum ahead of the tournament.