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Roberto Martinez: De Bruyne heals quicker than others and will be fresher when he returns

Kevin De Bruyne is making excellent progress in his recovery from a long-term knee injury, and his Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has put that down to the 27-year-old having a ‘natural gift’ of healing quicker than others.

Speaking at Sunday’s FIFA Football Conference in London, the former Wigan and Everton manager backed up reports that KDB could be back much sooner than the estimated three months, with the player himself saying he could return in as little as three weeks – although that is a best case scenario.

“I still need three, four, five weeks, but I’m getting there,” said De Bruyne at the FIFA 19 launch. “Hopefully I can be back soon, help the team and perform well.

“I’m hoping to be back after the next international break. I think I will be back for the (Manchester) derby.”

Martinez followed up by saying he thinks De Bruyne will be back on the pitch very soon, although wouldn’t predict when.

“The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive,” Martinez revealed. “I think we’ll see him on the pitch a lot earlier than other players would take with that injury (and) we think he could be even fresher after his period away.”

“No time scale yet but Kevin wants to be on the football pitch as quick as he can and physically he’s got that natural gift of being able to heal quicker than other players.”

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