Kevin De Bruyne is hopeful of featuring against his former club Chelsea on December 8, according to Etihad sources.
The Manchester City and Belgium midfielder injured his knee ligaments against Fulham in the Carabao Cup at the start of the month, having just returned from a 10-week lay-off after a similar injury suffered to his other leg.
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Pep Guardiola has refused to set a return date for arguably his best player, with the brilliant 27-year-old instrumental in last season’s record-breaking Premier League title procession.
De Bruyne, though, is understood to be in the final stages of his recovery and City’s medics are hopeful he will be available for selection again before the huge showdown at Stamford Bridge.
It was the Belgian’s tremendous strike in the corresponding fixture last term that sealed a crucial 1-0 victory for the Citizens against the club which showed him the door in 2012.
De Bruyne is being closely monitored but could again rejoin the main group in the next few days, although it is highly unlikely Guardiola will have him available for the weekend hosting of Bournemouth.