Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne is dealing with a hamstring injury | Photo: AFP AFP News

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed an injury concern about midfielder Kevin de Bruyne after his side's win over Brentford in the Premier League on Tuesday.

De Bruyne did not feature in Manchester City's 1-0 win over Brentford because of a "niggle in his hamstring", Guardiola revealed after the game at Etihad Stadium.

The Belgian international has missed around 32 games already this season due to a hamstring injury that he sustained in Man City's opening Premier League match against Burnley in August 2023, which required surgery.

He returned to action following the lengthy injury lay-off just last month, and has already made a crucial impact in Man City's games with two goals and seven assists in eight appearances in all competitions.

De Bruyne's injury returns?

However, De Bruyne was an unused substitute in Man City's latest league outing against Brentford at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. The 32-year-old star player did not warm up at any point of the match as Erling Haaland's 71st-minute strike earned the reigning champions three important points.

Guardiola was quizzed about De Bruyne's situation during the post-match conference.

"Today we can't use Kevin because he has a niggle in his hamstring and we didn't want to take any risks. He's okay, he's okay. It's just more caution and prevention than anything.

"He didn't feel comfortable, the doctor said it's a little bit of a risk, so we said, 'okay', after five months off we didn't take any risks about that over him," Guardiola told reporters.

Before the match against Brentford, De Bruyne had started four of the previous five matches and came off the bench in the three previous outings. He was having a great comeback after his four-month injury-forced break.

De Bruyne is one of the most important players in Guardiola's core team and Man City will be wary of the player's situation, especially when they have fallen a point behind league leaders Liverpool FC.

Man City have big games lined up

Man City will hope De Bruyne's niggle does not turn into something big as they are lined up for a few big games in the coming weeks, including clashes against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Guardiola and Co are scheduled to take on Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League before an FA Cup trip to Luton next week. After that, their run of big fixtures begin, starting with Manchester United, Copenhagen (Champions League), Liverpool, Brighton, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

Man City are already without two key players: Jack Grealish and Josko Gvardiol, who are still a couple of weeks away from returning to action. While Grealish has muscular issues, Gvardiol is dealing with ankle ligament problems.

Meanwhile, Halaand has taken little time to settle in since his return following a month's injury break, which saw him miss 12 competitive games. Upon his comeback to full fitness, he has started four out of Man City's last five Premier League matches, scoring thrice and providing an assist too.

Haaland's special feat in the Premier League

The latest goal against Brentford saw Haaland join Kane as the only players to have scored against every team they faced in the Premier League. But what sets Haaland's feat apart is the fact that the Norwegian playmaker has achieved it in just his second season in England.

Despite missing a month's play, Haaland remains the top scorer in the Premier League in the 2023-24 campaign. The Norway international has netted 17 goals, two more than Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.

Overall, Haaland has scored 22 goals and six assists in 28 matches in all competitions for City.

The victory over Brentford saw Man City displace Arsenal in league table's second spot. The current champions have 56 points from 25 matches, one more than the Gunners.