Pellegrini ‘optimistic’ De Bruyne will play again this term

Manuel Pellegrini suggests the knee injury suffered by Kevin de Bruyne in Manchester City’s League Cup semi-final victory over Everton is not as serious as first feared.

The second half introduction of De Bruyne changed the match at the Etihad, with the Belgian scoring one goal and crossing for Sergio Aguero’s winner.

However, the 24-year-old had to leave the field on a stretcher after falling awkwardly onhis right knee.

“I’m optimistic he won’t be out for the rest of the season. It’s not the cruciate ligament, it’sthe medial, we think,” Pellegrini said.

The Chilean also expressed his delight at City’s comeback victory against the Toffees, who led 3-1 on aggregate following Ross Barkley’s opener.

Pellegrini’s side will now face Liverpool in the final at Wembley on February 28.

“I am very happy, to play a final at Wembley, it is very important,” he added.

“We deserved to be in the final, we had just one defeat – that was against Everton with aclear penalty.

“We won because we scored three goals and Everton had just one chance. We have one month to think about the final.

“It will be a tough game and we are optimistic we will win the cup.It is important for the team to win a cup in February, it gives you a lot of trust.

“Wembley is a special stadium.”

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