The Belgium international has been missing for the past four Premier League games after sustaining a hamstring injury against Aston Villa in late January. That hasn’t hampered the team, as they have continued their win streak to take 12 points from 12 in his absence, scoring 12 goals along the way.
Recent excellent form from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan has meant De Bruyne’s magic impact on the pitch hasn’t been missed by City, which in turn suggests they will have no dramatic reason to rush him back to fitness.
That said, being one of the league’s top creators, Guardiola will want him to return in good shape and ready for the season run-in – and, to that end, he is getting closer.
“He is getting well, he is already training, not with the team but alone and he is feeling well,” City’s boss said in his pre-match press conference.
“It’s good, really good.”
City initially expected De Bruyne to be out for around four to six weeks, which would leave him watching on as his side play up to another seven fixtures, including Premier League games against Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as Wednesday’s FA Cup match at Swansea and the first leg of the Champions League last 16 against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Manchester derby is on 6 March, which could be a target for the 29-year-old to return for if all continues well with his rehabilitation.