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Injured De Bruyne left out of Belgium squad

Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has won 99 caps for Belgium

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has not been included in the Belgium squad for friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and England this month because of a groin strain.

The 32-year-old has also been ruled out of City’s FA Cup quarter-final with Newcastle United on Saturday.

De Bruyne was substituted 69 minutes into the 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

Belgium face the Republic on 23 March and England at Wembley on 26 March.

Manager Domenico Tedesco said De Bruyne has struggled with the injury “for the last few matches”.

“We can’t take a risk now and certainly not with Kevin,” he said.

“It is better to give him time to recover well at City and then have him ready for the European Championship.”

Following the international break, third-placed City host Premier League leaders Arsenal on 31 March.

De Bruyne missed the first five months of the season with a hamstring injury before returning in January.

“I don’t know if there is a connection to his hamstring injury,” said Tedesco.

“Yesterday I spoke to the doctor and Kevin and we decided the risk is too great. It is our responsibility to take into account the player but also the player’s club.”



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