Kevin De Bruyne Makes Swift Recovery But Gabriel Jesus Set For Stint on Sidelines

Manchester City has been boosted by the swift return of Kevin de Bruyne but are expecting Gabriel Jesus to be out for up to two months with a knee injury, according to reports.

Both players had to be replaced at Selhurst Park on Sunday (December 31) as City's 18-game winning run in the Premier League came to an end with a goalless draw against Crystal Palace.

Jesus left the field in tears after falling awkwardly in the first half while Belgium international De Bruyne was taken off on a stretcher following a shocking challenge by Jason Puncheon in the final minute of the game.

Manager Pep Guardiola said he expected Jesus to be out for "a little more than a month" with City announcing that the Brazilian striker had suffered a medial collateral ligament injury.

Guardiola said the club would assess De Bruyne's injury, but there is a chance the playmaker could feature against Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Despite seeming to have escaped a lengthy absence of one of his team's key players, Guardiola insisted his players needed more protection.

"You have to admire the physicality of the Premier League, but the referees need to protect the players, that is all I ask," he said, as quoted by the BBC.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, December 10. Guardiola's team opened up an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League after Sunday's win. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty

Jesus, the 20-year-old Brazilian, joined City in January 2016 but missed two months of the season due to a fractured metatarsal.

He was replaced by Sergio Aguero at Selhurst Park and the Argentine striker will fill the role in his absence, however reinforcements may be on the way.

Guardiola is keen to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal before Jesus suffered the injury, but now he may ask the club to step up its efforts.

Sanchez's contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be free to move to the Etihad for free in the summer, but Guardiola believes the Chilean will help his team dominate.

City are the runaway leaders in the Premier League, 12 points ahead of second-place Manchester United with a game in hand to play. They are in the semifinal of the League Cup against Bristol City and face Burnley in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Guardiola reportedly believes Sanchez would help his team dominate abroad as well, with City coming up against FC Basel in the last-16 of the Champions League in February.