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Guardiola calls for patience in De Bruyne recovery

Pep Guardiola is pleased with the progress of Kevin De Bruyne as he works his way back from an ankle injury but says he won’t rush the Belgian’s recovery.

The PFA Player of the Year hasn’t featured for City since a late cameo on the opening day of the Premier League season against Spurs, but has been training with his teammates at the City Football Academy in recent weeks.

City begin our Champions League campaign on Wednesday against RB Leipzig, and while Pep would be delighted to welcome De Bruyne back for the clash, he has every faith that the rest of the squad can do the business if the Belgian isn’t available.

“We will see. He made a really good training session this week,” Guardiola said.

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“When he came back to training, he did really well. Step by step. We have a deep squad, just to see Phil (Foden) was there, Kevin was there, Riyad (Mahrez) was there, John (Stones) was there.

“The last two games against Norwich and Arsenal were amazing. They were at an incredible high level and deserved to play.

“The guys who didn’t play today have to be ready. The quality of the team is so high and that is the only reason that we had success in the previous seasons, everyone made a contribution.

Looking ahead to Die Roten Bullen’s visit to the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola didn’t shy away from how important he feels a strong start is for City in the Champions League.

We begin our European campaign in Group A, having been drawn against Leipzig, Belgian champions Club Brugge and last season’s semi-finalists, Paris Saint-Germain.

And although our clash with PSG catches the eye, Pep insisted that Jesse Marsch’s side shouldn’t be overlooked.

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“The most difficult game we have will be the first against Leipzig. This is the most important game in the group stage,” he declared.

“I don’t think one second about PSG because the teams we are going to face in the group stage are so, so difficult.

“Leipzig the last years in Germany have not always been a real contender for Bayern Munich, but Bayern Munich is unstoppable, but have been there all the time second or third fighting with Dortmund.

“I know the rhythm, the quality, the pace they have. It will be a good test, but it is important to arrive in this test the way we are playing now and do a good game.”

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