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Martinez: De Bruyne will be back sooner than expected

Kevin De Bruyne injured a ligament in his right knee. Credit: PA

Kevin De Bruyne is a naturally quick healer and will be back on the pitch far sooner than initially thought, according to Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.

The Manchester City playmaker injured a ligament in his right knee in training last month and the original prognosis was he would be out of action for at least three months.

But speaking to journalists at the FIFA Football Conference in London on Sunday, Martinez was much more optimistic.

"It was a freak accident, it happens, football is a contact sport," the 45-year-old former Wigan and Everton boss said.

"The issue is how long he will be out and the reports are very positive. 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."


Aguero pens contract extension at Man City

Credit: PA

Sergio Aguero has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester City, the Premier League champions have announced.

The Argentina striker, who became City's record goalscorer last season, is now committed to the club until 2021.

Aguero, 30, has won three Premier League titles and scored 204 goals since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

Aguero said: "I am happy for this additional year. My idea was being here for 10 years. I've been here for seven years, it's going to be 10 when the contract expires.

"This was the main reason I signed. I'm very happy because they have treated me very well since the first day I got here. I'm very happy with everything that involves the club, my team-mates, the staff and the management team.

"We have a good team, we need to be focused and if we are at 100 per cent, we have lots of chances to do great things."

Aguero has previously spoken about ending his career back in Argentina with boyhood club Independiente after his City contract expires, but that will now have to wait at least another year.

City director of football Txiki Begiristain said: "We are delighted that Sergio is extending his stay at Manchester City.

"We are fortunate to have had one of the best strikers in the world at our club for so many years and I'm sure our supporters will be thrilled with this news."


Man City's Sterling withdraws from England squad

Sterling has been struggling with a back injury. Credit: PA

Raheem Sterling has withdrawn from the England squad for the internationals with Spain and Switzerland due to injury.

Manchester City forward Sterling has suffered a back problem, according to a statement from the Football Association.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions host Spain in the UEFA Nations League at Wembley on Saturday, before taking on the Swiss in a friendly at Leicester's King Power Stadium three days later.

Manager Southgate, who celebrated his 48th birthday on Monday, does not plan to call up a replacement.

The remaining 21 players in the squad are due to train for the first time on Tuesday morning at St. George's Park.

Sterling has scored twice in three Premier League appearances for City so far this season, including the opener in Saturday's victory over Newcastle.

The 23-year-old has won 44 caps for his country, scoring twice, and made six appearances at the World Cup in the summer as England reached the semi-finals.

Starting XI's: Man City vs Newcastle United

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