Man City star Kevin De Bruyne may have medial ligament injury - Pellegrini
MANCHESTER -- Kevin De Bruyne may have suffered medial ligament damage in Manchester City's 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Everton, Manuel Pellegrini has said.
De Bruyne came off the bench to level the tie on aggregate before setting up Sergio Aguero to score the winning goal, which saw City book their place in the final against Liverpool on Feb. 28.
However, the Belgium international was stretchered off in the final moments of the game and appears set for a lengthy absence, although City boss Pellegrini is hopeful that he will not be ruled out for the rest of the season.
"We will see tomorrow," Pellegrini told his postmatch news conference. "The doctor thinks he has a problem in his medial ligament but it is impossible before tomorrow.
"It is very difficult to know in this moment but I am optimistic he will not be out for the rest of the season. It is not a cruciate ligament, it is the medial ligament."
De Bruyne joined City from Wolfsburg in August for a reported £54 million and has quickly established himself as a leading star in Pellegrini's squad.
He made a huge impact when he came on as a substitute in the 67th minute as the two-legged tie swung in City's favour.
Pellegrini added: "I always said Kevin is a very important player in the whole season. He didn't start because we have to play nine games in 27 days.
"I think it is important to have a very good rotation of the squad. The minutes he played he did very well."
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Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles has issued an apology for his response to the injury.
He wrote on Twitter: "I would like to apologise to Kevin De Bruyne for my reaction to his injury. In the heat of the moment I didn't realise he was badly hurt.
"I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery."
Meanwhile, Pellegrini has said he expects an exciting final against Liverpool, who reached the final on Tuesday night with a penalty shootout victory over Stoke City.
"First of all to play a final in Wembley is always a special stadium with a special atmosphere," Pellegrini said.
"If you have two very good teams as Liverpool and Manchester City it will be a brilliant final. We have one month, it is important to focus on the FA Cup and then two important games in the Premier League."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.