Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed the return dates of injured trio Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri and Fabian Delph.
All three midfielders are likely to be available for the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final clash should City make the last eight of the elite competition.
De Bruyne suffered damage to his knee ligaments in early January and began training with the first-team earlier this month, but will remain in Manchester during the international break in two weeks time rather than joining his compatriots in the Belgium squad.
Kevin will stay here. He’s not able to play a game with his national squad.
Nasri, meanwhile, has also returned to training with the squad but has not featured since October when an injury meant that he required surgery on his tendon.
26-year-old Delph has had an injury-plagued start to his career at the Etihad Stadium, managing just five starts since joining in the summer. However, the ex-Aston Villa anchor is confident of making Roy Hodgson’s 25-man squad for the European Championships this summer and could be crucial in the Citizens’ title run-in.
Pellegrini is planning on making the trio available for under-21 games that will take place during the aforementioned international break so that all three of the long-term absentees are match-fit when their teammates return.
Maybe he [De Bruyne] and Samir Nasri will play – and I hope Fabian Delph – in one or two games with the under-21s to maximise that period of time, so when the squad return they will have played at least two games.