Belfast Telegraph

Wembley heartbreak for De Bruyne as injured Man City ace ruled out for 10 weeks

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is likely to be sidelined for around 10 weeks after damaging knee and ankle ligaments in the Capital One Cup semi-final win over Everton, according to the Belgian's agent.

De Bruyne scored a vital - albeit controversial - goal and set up another after coming off the bench in Wednesday's 3-1 second-leg success at the Etihad Stadium which secured a Wembley final against Liverpool, before being carried off towards the end of the game following an awkward fall.

The 24-year-old appeared to get his studs caught in the turf and then landed on his knee as City clinched a 4-3 aggregate triumph.

Initial medical reports suggest the problem is not related to the cruciate ligament, but De Bruyne wrote on Twitter: "Just got back from the specialist. I'll be out for around 10 weeks.

"I'll work hard on my recovery and hope to be back on the pitch asap. Thank you all for the supportive messages!"

The player's representative Patrick De Koster said: "Kevin is sad. His dream is to always be playing football.

"He will miss games like the League Cup final and in the Champions League, which are important, but he knows they (City) are a good team, that the other players will do what they have to do and maybe win the game for him and also that (injuries) is what happens in football.

"He is sad, of course, but he told me, 'this (happens) in a match, (is something) which can arrive in football and the only thing I can do is to work hard and to come back'."

De Koster feels the midfielder will not be able to return to action until the March at the earliest.

"(It is) the tear in the ankle and also the lateral (knee) ligaments are such that I think for sure he will need many weeks of rehabilitation, but they are still going to do some more medical (tests) today and at the end of the day, so maybe tomorrow morning we will have the final news about the time he will need to be 100 per cent again."

Meanwhile, Everton captain Phil Jagielka labelled referee Martin Atkinson "a little bit arrogant" as the controversy over Everton's semi-final loss raged on.

Jagielka was unhappy with the response he got when he asked Atkinson why a critical City goal, after Raheem Sterling ran the ball out of play, was allowed to stand.

Atkinson and his officials missed the ball crossing the byline before Sterling pulled it back for De Bruyne to put City 2-1 ahead.

That contentious 70th-minute goal levelled the tie on aggregate and City went on to progress 4-3 after Sergio Aguero compounded Everton's woes with a header to make it 3-1 six minutes later.

Asked if he spoke to the referee, Jagielka said: "I tried to. He told me that my defending was brilliant. So, it is difficult when things start going the wrong way and they become a little bit arrogant - but unfortunately that is the way it goes with some.

"If he made a decision wrong or he didn't see it, that is what happens, but sometimes when you go and speak to people and get the answers you get it is that little bit more frustrating."

The incident was the latest in a series of recent controversies to hamper Everton.

In the past month they have been on the wrong end of a disputed penalty against Stoke, an offside strike at Chelsea and a handball incident against Swansea, all of which contributed to defeats.

Belfast Telegraph


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