Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles apologises after accusing injured Kevin De Bruyne of time-wasting
Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles has apologised after he was seen forcing Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to get back on his feet following an injury. De Bruyne had scored and assisted a goal after coming on as a substitute to help City take a 4-3 lead on aggregate in the Capital One Cup semi-final but went to ground in the 90th minute near the Everton box.
City eventually won the tie 3-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. However, they were hit with what could be a crucial blow as De Bruyne was stretchered off in injury time.
The Belgian midfielder went to ground after a challenge from Toffees full-back Leighton Baines and was screaming in agony as he seemed to twist his knee. The 24-year-old did not get back up on his feet and the Spanish goalkeeper suspected he was simply trying to run down the clock having taken a slender lead in the two-legged tie.
The club’s physio and medics eventually had to be called and so were the stretcher bearers. In spite of booking a place in the League Cup final at Wembley on 28 February, the mood at the Etihad was a sombre one with De Bruyne strapped to a stretcher with his leg in a cast.
“I would like to apologise to Kevin De Bruyne for my reaction to his injury,” Robles said on his official Twitter account. “In the heat of the moment I didn't realise he was badly hurt. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.”
How long will De Bruyne be out?
According to City boss Manuel Pellegrini, the midfielder’s injury is not as serious as initially thought. There were fears that it was a cruciate ligament injury, the kind that sees players lose almost a year in recovery. Having spent £55m to sign him last summer, City cannot afford to lose De Bruyne for too long with a fixture crucnh in the coming weeks.
“The doctor thinks, but he cannot be sure, that it’s a problem in his medial ligament,” Pellegrini said. “We'll see how it is but it's impossible to know before tomorrow (Thursday).
“I’m optimistic he won’t be out for the rest of the season. We’ll see how important the damage is. It’s not the cruciate ligament, it’s the medial [ligament] we think. He is with the doctor, it could be the medial ligament. Tomorrow we will have more news but it is not a nice injury,” he said
“Kevin has been a very important player all season. He didn’t start this game as we have nine games between now and next month.”