Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims he will not risk German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for the start of the Premier League, despite him reaching full fitness during pre-season.
Gundogan who has spent the entire year sidelined due to injury has recently been passed as fit and according to the Mirror, Guardiola could play him in the mid-week friendly against Girona but will not risk him in the Premier League for another month.
Guardiola said: "I think he [Gundogan] is close to coming back."
He added: "Maybe he'll get minutes in Girona. I don't know, we're going to ask the doctor because of course he was injured for a long time. We don't want to take any risks and he has to be strong."
Gundogan signed from Borussia Dortmund last summer whilst he was recovering from a dislocated knee cap. After moving to City, just four months into his Premier League career, the 26-year ruptured cruciate ligaments which have kept him sidelined until now.
However, despite these injuries, Guardiola believes the midfielder to be a very talented and diverse player and will play a pivotal role in the team for Manchester City this season.
Guardiola said: "But of course, his quality is perfect for the way we want to play. He's a guy who plays in the middle and can be a holding midfielder or play in front."