Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has admitted he is unsure whether star duo Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard will be able to return at this summer’s Euros after both players left Sunday’s 1-0 win over Portugal with injuries.
De Bruyne injured his ankle in a nasty challenge before the break, but after trying to carry on, managed just three minutes of the second half before asking to be substituted. Hazard joined him on the bench 40 minutes later after complaining about a hamstring issue.
These blows could hardly have come at a worse time for Belgium, who are preparing for a quarter-final meeting with Italy on 2 July, and Martinez admitted half of that preparation period will be spent worrying about the severity of both injuries.
“We’re going to need 48 hours to find out the extent of injuries,” he said (via the Daily Mail). “Kevin De Bruyne is his ankle, it was a really bad tackle. We don’t have a diagnosis from the medical department.
“Eden Hazard is more muscle. We will go back to Belgium tonight and have the scans tomorrow.”
There is hope that De Bruyne will be able to return at some point this summer, with the fact that he felt able to continue playing briefly suggesting the injury may not be as serious, but that optimism does not extend to Hazard.
“I think the Euros for Eden is over, he will not play anymore,” said goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (via Metro).
Hazard himself was eager to keep an open mind about his injury and suggested that this muscle injury might not be a severe one.
“I do not know what I have done,” he said (via Marca). “It hurts a little and we will see in the tests.
“The pain was less than I have felt at other times. I can’t say that my Euros are finished yet, but if they are, I would stay to support the team.”
We also got a little update from brother and goalscorer Thorgan, who added: “He had a muscle injury and hopefully it is not serious. He did not look good but hopefully he can be back for the remainder of the Euros. Also De Bruyne because we need them both.”