Roberto Martinez has given an update on Kevin de Bruyne’s chances of featuring in Belgium’s first game of the EUROs following his injury in the Champions League final.
De Bruyne was hurt as his Man City side lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the all-English on Saturday. A collision with Blues defender Antonio Rudiger forced him from the field in tears after 60 minutes. He was able to watch the rest of the action from the stands, but was later taken to hospital.
He has since revealed the extent of the damage after undergoing scans. The playmaker suffered a fractured nose and eye socket, as he confirmed in a Tweet.
That has left his place in his country’s opening EUROs fixture in some doubt. The Red Devils face Russia in their opening group stage match on 12th June.
And his national team manager Roberto Martinez has rated his chances of lining up for that contest.
“I’ve spoken to Kevin and he was quite positive,’ Martinez told a press conference (via The Metro).
“We’ve got to be very cautious, but we will get more clarity in the next days. We don’t know if we can use him in the first game.
“I cannot give an answer because I don’t have any medical facts right now. We are still assessing the injury and over the next four to five days we expect clarity.
“We are very fortunate that even though he has a double fracture, he doesn’t need surgery.
“An operation would have made it impossible for him to play in the European Championship.”
Should de Bruyne miss out on the meeting with Russia, he may have a better chance of being fit for the meetings with Denmark and Finland that follow.
Martinez claims foul play from Rudiger
Although he still has a chance of calling upon de Bruyne, Martinez has clearly been left rattled by the incident that led to his injury.
In real time, it looked nothing more than a heavy coming together. But the former Everton boss believes Chelsea’s Rudiger knew what he was doing.
“For me, Rudiger is very, very fortunate,” said Martinez (via the Express). “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.
“But that leaves a sour taste because Rudiger’s holding his head. It’s almost that he wants to show that he’s hiding something.
“For me, it was excessive force, and it was reckless. And it should have been a red card.”
Rudiger insists that was not the case, and he has reached out to de Bruyne to apologise.