Manchester City has been given a boost by the return of Leroy Sane to training after a long time out. The German winger damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the Community Shield win over Liverpool back in August. He has since been sidelined. But the forward took to social media earlier in the week to announce his return. He posted a photo in his Instagram story of him wearing football boots with the caption:
”First pitch session done!”
Sane hasn’t played any part of this season for the club. The 23-year-old’s injury turned out to be the first in a long line that has so far hit Manchester City hard. The Sky Blues have fallen 14 points behind Liverpool in the title race putting serious doubts on the team’s chances of retaining the Premier League crown.
Several City players have joined the injury line at different times in the season. Following Sane was Aymeric Laporte who suffered a similar knee injury just four games into the season. Kevin De Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, Rodri, John Stones, David Silva and Sergio Aguero have all also spent time on the sidelines. The last three are on their way back.
A depleted squad led to midfield powerhouse Fernandinho being shifted to central defence.
Manager Pep Guardiola expressed his delight at Sane’s returned to the training field. But he cautioned that it could still be a while until he is back in contention for first-team football.
After spending four months on the sidelines, the lightning quick winger only completed a pitch session in isolation to mark his return to training. He will now step up his full recovery in the coming weeks. Providing he suffers no setbacks in the recovery process, he should be back in contention for a place in the starting line up sooner than later.
Guardiola says his light workout was the next phase of his recovery. The City boss outlined the process the winger will follow and confessed his return to match action will be a huge boost for the team.
“That was the next step, to go to pitch.
“Then he will train with us and then full sessions.
“That [him being back to full fitness] would be great for us,” - Guardiola stated.
With City set to face Spanish giants Real Madrid in the Champions League Last-16, with the first leg to be played on February 26, Sane’s return is a welcome development. Next up should be Aymeric Laporte.