Why a Kevin De Bruyne injury will hamper Belgium’s chances
Kevin De Bruyne has a facial injury, and his status is yet to be confirmed by both Manchester City and Belgium. They are facing a grave problem heading into the European Championships as Belgium aims to land a title in the coming contest with De Bruyne on top.
De Bruyne just took a hit in their 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final. The City star suffered an acute fracture of the nose and an orbital fracture to his left eye socket. That is just a bad beat for someone who lost a final.
He was injured in a challenge with Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger just before the hour mark in Porto. De Bruyne could have scored two goals to propel City for a tight finish in the Champions League final.
It was initially thought that De Bruyne was already in huge pain during that time. The midfielder was replaced by Gabriel Jesus for the rest of the game as well. City was already trailing 0-1 when Kai Havertz scored the crucial 42-minute winner for Chelsea.
Roberto Martinez says that the star might actually take some time to return for the squad. The coach has already named his team for the contest, which led him to lash out at Rudiger for the incident with one of his lead stars.
‘Rudiger is very, very fortunate’, said Martínez. ‘When you look at the replay, there’s no clash of heads. He’s properly leaving the shoulder against Kevin. He seems concussed and we will see the state of that. For me, it was excessive force and it was reckless. And it should have been a red card. Kevin is not a player that goes down for no reason. You can see the pain and it’s a swollen eye’.
De Bruyne needed treatment on the pitch before leaving the field in tears. He watched the rest of the game with a swollen left eye. Nose and orbital fractures take a number of weeks to heal, and so De Bruyne’s run with Belgium is hanging by a thread for now.
It is possible that the star could return faster if he wears a face mask - the same one that Rudiger has in the final. The Chelsea defender suffered a facial injury in the first leg of their semis with Madrid.
Belgium is set to play against Russia, Denmark and Finland for their opening Group B matches. It is a fair schedule at the very least, with Russia being a silent problem for the team. Playing without De Bruyne might just hamper their chances of winning this time around.
Martinez said that the results were tolerable for now and that the star will link up with the rest of the squad in a few days. He is not yet sure if De Bruyne would be ready to play against Russia to open up the contest.
‘Kevin had a different plan to the rest of the players, he was only going to join us seven days later because he was playing in the Champions League final’, Martinez said. ‘But that plan has obviously been changed, he won't be able to relax and rest just yet’.
The Belgian star has already left the hospital but is waiting for his injuries to heal before he will be able to play in the coming tourney. He is already listed on the roster, but De Bruyne needs to be cleared from his injuries before joining the team.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores