April 6 (Reuters) – Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is unsure if he can get back to his best for the reigning Premier League champions after injuries restricted his playing time this season, the midfielder said on Friday.
The 27-year-old has had a stop-start season with two knee injuries and trouble with his hamstring limiting him to only nine Premier League starts this season while City chase an unprecedented quadruple.
The Belgian was one of the favourites for the player of the year award last season, with eight goals and 16 assists in City’s league title-winning campaign, but has scored only two league goals this season.
“I don’t know what my level is going to be but to be fair I don’t really care,” De Bruyne told reporters.
“Now it’s the business end (of the season), I just need to do what I can do to help the team win games. If that means playing five games or 10 games, I’ll take it all. It’s been that kind of season.
“It’s like 12 or 13 cup games, it makes it exciting. In the end maybe we lose everything but at least we are here at this stage.”
De Bruyne said recovering from injuries that sidelined him for more than 19 weeks this season was far more difficult than stepping on to the field for City.
“I feel sometimes my season had double the length of other players because every time you need to be in, you need to make almost double the hours,” he said.
“It’s more draining than to play in the end. You never have a day off because you need to work on your recovery.
“A lot of the time you’re alone but you have to do it. I did it and I’m happy I’m back.”
City play Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium later on Saturday. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)