Kevin De Bruyne has taken a break from his injury rehab – by jetting to Abu Dhabi for a UFC show.
The Manchester City superstar has been sidelined since the opening day of the season at Burnley and may not be back in action until the second half of the campaign. The 32-year-old has been working hard on his recovery, but is enjoying a bit of downtime this weekend.
He is in Abu Dhabi, the home of City's owners, for UFC 294 and has been spotted at ringside by eagle-eyed fans. De Bruyne has also issued a brief message, which has been shared on UFC’s social media channels.
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He said: “Hi guys, Kevin here. I’m in Abu Dhabi for the UFC fights. I can’t wait to see the games. Enjoy.”
While he is still a way off a first-team return, Pep Guardiola is optimistic of having De Bruyne back sooner rather than later. Speaking earlier this month, the City boss said: “Kevin comes in at different times, either before training or for his treatment.
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"After training he sees physios and so on. Of course I see him every day and he’s getting better, and his mood is good. Hopefully sooner than expected he will be back.”
De Bruyne lasted just 22 minutes of City’s first game of the season before being forced. However, Guardiola’s side have coped well in his absence and after a recent wobble, which saw back-to-back league defeats and a Carabao Cup exit, they got back to winning ways with a 2-1 success over Brighton on Saturday.
Julian Alvarez fired the hosts ahead after just seven minutes ahead with a composed finish from Jeremy Doku’s cutback before Erling Haaland made it two with a left-footed strike from 18 yards. A goal from Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati for the visitors set up a nervous finish, but the hosts held on for their seventh Premier League win of the season despite Manuel Akanji’s late red card.
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