MANCHESTER, England -- A lack of rest may have contributed to the knee injury that will sideline Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne for up to three months, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
De Bruyne suffered damage to the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during training on Wednesday and flew to Barcelona the following day for tests, which revealed that surgery was not required.
Guardiola cited fatigue as a factor in the Belgian's injury after a World Cup summer, and though he admitted being without De Bruyne will be a big loss for the Premier League champions, they will have to learn to cope without him, starting with Sunday's match with Huddersfield Town.
"Like the doctor said, it will be two to three months, hopefully he can do as much as possible to get back and help us again," Guardiola told a news conference.
"It will be a big miss like last season with Benjamin Mendy. Last season Kevin was outstanding in all terms and of course for him and his family you never want this but you accept it's part of the game.
"It's especially part of the game for the players -- it's normal, they don't rest. It's a tough season, short recovery, they say let's go and we are in the competition. Human beings have a limit and sometimes these things happen."
De Bruyne, 27, had only been back in City training for just over a week ago after helping Belgium to the semifinals of the World Cup and was a 60th-minute substitute in the 2-0 Premier League win at Arsenal on Sunday.
City sent a record 16 players to the World Cup with seven of those, including De Bruyne, reaching the semifinals and all returned within three weeks of their last appearance.
And though Guardiola said there was no way of knowing for sure if the short break led directly to his injury, the manager added that it was difficult to guard against any of his other players picking up problems.
"We'll never know but my opinion is that we demand a lot of the players," he added. "More than 11 months and coming back immediately this can happen. I'm pretty sure this can influence it. If you're fresh, with normal vacations, then that doesn't happen.
"I don't know how you can prepare [against that]. We have to play every game like it was an important game. We try to care for them as best as possible but you never know."
David Silva, who this week announced his international retirement, missed the Arsenal match and the Community Shield victory over Chelsea with a knee injury and could be back to face Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium.
"He trained the last two or three sessions really good," he said. "Big congratulations because he played more than 100 games, winning European Championship and the World Cup.
"He is one of the most interesting and fascinating players in the whole history of Spain. I never pushed him but he decide to that and he can rest a little bit more."