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Other SportsKevin De Bruyne documentary: Man City injury left hamstring 'like wet paper...

Kevin De Bruyne documentary: Man City injury left hamstring ‘like wet paper towel’ but midfielder ‘enjoyed’ time off

Kevin De Bruyne has said his troublesome hamstring was likened to a “wet paper towel” by the surgeon who performed an operation which kept the Manchester City midfielder out of football for five months this season.

Belgium international De Bruyne was forced off after 15 minutes of City’s opening game of the campaign at Burnley, suffering from the same issue which caused his substitution in the Uefa Champions League final in June, having spent the final two months of the 2022/23 season playing with a partially torn hamstring.

“I’m a 32-year-old footballer who has been playing for 15 years, played almost 700 games, sometimes goes too hard and had a couple of hamstring injuries,” De Bruyne told a new club documentary.

“Basically, my hamstring was a wet paper towel. That’s what they called it after surgery. Because of the injuries I had, there was so much scarring.

“The whole hamstring was getting really weak. The tendon was ruptured, they needed to clean it out and it was the best decision.”

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De Bruyne returned by scoring a goal and setting up another during a 21-minute substitute appearance in City’s 3-2 win at Newcastle on January 13.

He has provided assists in four of his six appearances since then, including two in their 3-1 win at Copenhagen in the Champions League round of 16.

The five-time Premier League winner found positives during his recovery. “If I wanted to plan a weekend with the family or go to Belgium or see my friends, I was able to plan that in advance,” he reflected.

“Usually it doesn’t work out, there’s no chance. In a way, it was nice to do some normal stuff and have some fun outside of football. I enjoyed it because there were things I had never done in 15 years. It was good.”

De Bruyne hair ‘not always easy’

Many fans have also admired De Bruyne’s decision to grow his hair in time for his comeback – but the former Wolfsburg, Chelsea and Genk playmaker says there had been “no plan” to create his striking new look.

“It’s not always easy when you play with it,” he said. “But I said ‘I’m not playing for a long time so we’ll just grow it a bit and see how it goes.’

“I’m happy with it. People say I look a bit younger now, so maybe I’ll have to take it.”

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