Kevin de Bruyne has recovered from the facial injuries he sustained in the Champions League final and is fit to play for Belgium, says manager Roberto Martinez.
De Bruyne fractured his nose and eye socket in a collision with defender Antonio Rudiger during Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea last month. And the playmaker did not feature in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Russia in their opening match at Euro 2020.
But Belgium head coach Martinez says that his star player is fit, and the task now is to get him back up to speed in the final two group matches in the hope of having him at full tilt for the knockout stages.
Saka gifted signed shirt after pupils sent letters of support
- Euro 2020: Who has qualified for the knockout stages?
- Opinion: Now or never for Martinez and Belgium's golden generation
“The programme is very clear for Kevin De Bruyne," Martinez said in a press conference on Wednesday.
"He's medically fit, he has the green light to be in a match situation. Obvious now is the question of seeing how long Kevin can play and how we can use the two games that we have in five days to try to bring him to the 90 minutes.
"I'm really pleased with the progress that he's making – every day he makes a big difference."
Kevin De Bruyne
Image credit: Getty Images
De Bruyne is expected to play a significant role when Belgium play Denmark in Copenhagen on Thursday. But Martinez will be without the services of full-back Timothy Castagne for the Group B fixture.
Leicester City’s Castagne was forced off after just 25 minutes of his country’s Euro 2020 campaign with similar injuries to those that De Bruyne suffered in the Champions League final.
And Martinez says it is almost impossible that the defender will feature again the tournament.
“On the images, we have been able to see that it is not two, but three or four fractures,” Martinez said.
He will recover perfectly, but that will take about six weeks.
“If we go to the final, Timothy can definitely come. But whether he can be on the pitch, I doubt it.”
'People don't care enough about racism' - Aluko explains decision to delete her Twitter
English football’s sorry week ends with third unnecessary apology – The Warm-Up