Kevin De Bruyne has revealed he still has 'very little feeling' in the left side of his face after suffering an acute nose bone fracture and damaged eye socket in the Champions League final and is avoiding heading the ball in training to escape further injury.
The 29-year-old had to leave the field early in Manchester City's loss to Chelsea in May after running into defender Antonio Rudiger. He then underwent eye surgery to remove the possibility of suffering double vision later in life.
He missed Belgium's opening match of Euro 2020 through injury but came on as a substitute against Denmark and changed the game, bagging a goal and an assist in their 2-1 comeback.
Speaking over his return, De Bruyne revealed he is 'glad' not to have to wear a protective mask and is willing to take the necessary precautions, such as not heading the ball in training, as reported by the Daily Mail.
"The doctors and coaches know I broke my nose and had a bit of a concussion so we are just careful," De Bruyne explained.
"I still have very little feeling on my left side. It is annoying but OK, I’ve got used to it. In the beginning, I was scared to go into confrontations but once a match starts I am so concentrated I don’t think about it.
"I knew from the moment it happened, I couldn’t make the first match of the Euros. The coach told me he wanted me to be a sub against Denmark and then get rhythm by starting against Finland. It’s ideal for me.
"I’m not angry with Rudiger. I know he wanted to block me but he didn’t want to hurt me so I don’t have a problem with it. He sent me a message after the match, I responded and that is long gone.
De Bruyne also discussed his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or, admitting that he is 'proud' to be part of the conversation.
"I am proud people consider me as one of the possible winners," he said. "It means you are mentioned with the best players in the world. That is the thing I have been working for my whole life. It’s nice."