Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has admitted that Kevin De Bruyne may not feature against Liverpool on Thursday due to injury but believes the midfielder’s absence is not a big issue.

The Belgian missed City’s 3-1 victory at Southampton on Sunday as the champions returned to winning ways following two successive defeats.

Speaking after the match, Guardiola said that De Bruyne’s ‘muscle sprain’ was normal given that the 27-year-old spent some time on the sidelines due to a knee ligament injury.

“It is normal for this to happen when you spend three to four months out injured – you come back in such a demanding period and you have a little bit of a problem,” said the coach.

“It’s not a big issue, but I cannot say if he will be able to play on Thursday.”

De Bruyne has made six Premier League appearances this season, scoring one goal in City’s 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.