Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed that factors including the hectic fixture schedule led to Kevin De Bruyne reaching his 'limit' and sustaining a muscular injury.
The 29-year-old has played the full 90 minutes in each of City's first three Premier League games of the campaign, while he has also featured in both Carabao Cup matches up to this point.
De Bruyne started the 1-1 draw with Leeds United before joining up with the Belgium national team for their clashes with Ivory Coast (friendly), England and Iceland (Nations League). While the midfielder didn't actually feature against the Ivory Coast, he came back into the team to captain his nation against England. But he was forced off after 73 minutes after suffering an injury.
This made him a doubt for City's Premier League tussle with Arsenal on Saturday, and Guardiola has now confirmed that the match will come too soon for De Bruyne. Speaking ahead of the game, the Sky Blues boss alluded to a number of factors - including the lack of pre-season and the hectic fixture schedule - which have caused the creative midfielder to reach his limit.
"I don't think it is serious, but the next games I think he will be out. We will see," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's match, as quoted by BBC Sport.
"I never complain about the international break. I know how important it is for players. It is an honour and a privilege....I think it's not big. I don't know how long - it's not like for example Gabriel [Jesus] - but a few days and I don't know how many games he will be out.
"[He has had] no pre-season and eight days off. With his family and a newborn [baby] he cannot go on holiday. He played really good as always but at the end the boy has a limit and he gets injured."
This will come as a major blow for Guardiola and Man City, as they enter into a very busy period. After the match against Arsenal, the Cityzens host Porto in their opening Champions League game on Wednesday before travelling to take on West Ham the following Saturday. A trip to take on Marseille in the Champions League then awaits on Tuesday 27 October.
Guardiola will be desperate to have his star man back as soon as possible, but he will also be keen not to rush him back and run the risk of the player aggravating the injury further.