KEVIN DE BRUYNE has been nursing THREE injuries leading up to the Champions League final.
The Manchester City star first hurt an ankle in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley last month.
And that led to a tight hamstring and a minor issue with his calf in the weeks that followed.
He believed he was ready to return at Brighton nine days ago.
But City’s medical team, along with boss Pep Guardiola, did not want to take any unnecessary risks.
That meant he went 19 days without playing a minute after starring in the Champions League last-four win over French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
But any concerns about how he would react against Everton on Sunday were blown away when he scored within 11 minutes.
KDB told the medics he was very happy with how he came through the 90 minutes and felt like he was in a good rhythm.
And that was a huge relief for Guardiola who is desperate to have his talisman in the team for their big night.
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Speaking after the 5-0 win against Everton that put the cherry on top of their title-winning season, centre-back John Stones admitted there will be nerves for the final – but the City squad are more than capable of dealing with them.
The England defender said: “I’m sure everyone will be nervous but the lads wouldn’t be where they are without knowing how to control those things, big pressure, big games.
“We’ve got the calibre of players for this occasion. It is a final and we’ve been in so many finals.
“We’ve got the passion and desire to win it.
“To finish the Premier League on a high like that is what we needed and to go into the next game, scoring so many goals and keeping a clean sheet, is perfect.”
He added: “It’s been an incredible season. From where we were in December, I think it shows the strength of the boys.
“Everyone has pulled their weight and come together as a team.
“We have got another game to go, we can make some more history but in these times – Covid times, everything different and difficult, games every three days – it shouldn’t be underestimated what we’ve all done this season as a club.”
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