Manchester City star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will not feature for his country during the upcoming international break. The playmaker was not picked in Domenico Tedesco’s latest Belgium team.

As a result, the Red Devils will be without their key man for friendlies against Northern Ireland and England later this month. Both fixtures are set to take place on the road, with the games being played in Dublin and London, respectively.

Following De Bruyne’s absence from the Belgium squad, Tedesco told reporters that the midfielder picked up a muscle injury. According to the coach, the midfielder has been dealing with the issue in recent weeks. “I don’t know if there is a connection to his hamstring injury. It is now a problem on the groin that he struggled with in the last few matches,” stated the coach.

“Yesterday I spoke to the doctor and Kevin, and we decided the risk is too great. It is our responsibility to take into account the player but also the player’s club. It is better to give him time to recover well at City and then have him ready for the European Championship. We can’t take a risk now and certainly not with Kevin.”

Kevin De Bruyne needed substitution, but not for injury

De Bruyne was last seen fuming on the City bench following his second-half substitution against Liverpool. The playmaker did not appreciate City manager Pep Guardiola making the move in such a huge fixture. The two teams are neck and neck in the Premier League title race and De Bruyne wanted to remain in the match.

Nevertheless, Guardiola told reporters after the 1-1 draw at the weekend that the substitution was for tactical reasons. “I knew what we were missing, we missed keeping the ball,” proclaimed the City manager. “It wasn’t about pressing and stuff like that. Mateo is really good at that. After (De Bruyne went off) we did it better. But, listen, Kevin… what can I say for Kevin… we need him, and he is important.”

City set to face Arsenal in first game back from break

The timing of the supposed injury is interesting considering City’s upcoming schedule. The reigning European champions face league leaders Arsenal in the first match back from the international break. The two clubs face off just five days after Belgium’s matchup with England in London.

Assuming De Bruyne is carrying a slight injury, City will want to keep their star playmaker fresh and ready for the Arsenal match. The game against the Gunners will be just as important as the previous Liverpool fixture.

The Belgian midfielder has already missed 27 total City matches this season due to a hamstring injury. Although he has only managed 14 appearances during the current campaign, De Bruyne has racked up 13 assists. While superstar striker Erling Haaland now receives most of the plaudits in the City team, the midfielder is still one of the most important players for Guardiola.

Potentially losing De Bruyne to another injury would seemingly put a significant dent in City’s title hopes. The Belgian is still very much key to his club’s success. The midfielder was previously named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in four of the club’s last five league titles.