Man City's Guardiola still cautious over De Bruyne return

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has told Kevin De Bruyne to ease himself back in gently following his return from injury and warned the midfielder that pushing himself would risk another long spell on the sidelines.

De Bruyne began training after three months out during the Club World Cup campaign in Saudi Arabia and returned to the squad for the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Saturday.

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Fully fit again after undergoing hamstring surgery, he's due to be involved against Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup on Sunday but Guardiola has told the 32-year-old to take it easy.

"A big injury, what is concerned the most is to try and avoid a repeat," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

"If the intention is 'I want to play today' you have to be careful. What Kevin needs, every player with long injuries, is to accumulate weeks of training and minutes. A setback would be the worst. He's so fresh and incredible desire, but you have to be careful."

As well as De Bruyne, Guardiola is hopeful of having Erling Haaland and Jérémy Doku back in the squad to face Huddersfield but a group of other players are at risk of missing out because of illness.

Rodri could also miss the game after flying to Madrid following the death of his grandmother.

"Jérémy feels really good, Kevin as well," added Guardiola. "Kevin has been [out for a] long time so we have to be patient and give the right minutes for him and Jérémy as well.

"For Erling, it's a bit better, the bone and we have to be a little bit more careful. He has done two training sessions and the day after he feels good.

"They are improving. I don't know for Sunday, I don't know for Newcastle, but for the rest [of the games] they will be ready.

"Rodri unfortunately his grandmother passed away yesterday in Madrid. Today and tomorrow [Saturday] he will not be here.

"Family issues are the most important thing. Hopefully he can come back for the game but if he needs to stay [he can]."

"Four players have problems. Bernardo [Silva], Scotty [Scott Carson], Kalvin [Phillips] and Matheus Nunes are [ill]. Like many people at this time are suffering."