Ilkay Gundogan Could Be in Man City Squad for Weekend's Liverpool Clash After 10 Months Out
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been tipped to return to the first-team squad in time for this weekend's Premier League clash against Liverpool as manager Pep Guardiola considers the German for selection after 10 months out injured.
Liverpool visit the Etihad Stadium in Saturday's early kick-off and, according to The Sun, there is a chance that Gundogan could be in the squad after a run out at Under-23 level last week.
The 2013 Champions League finalist also played a first-team friendly in mid-August when City were narrowly beaten by partner club Girona.
A club source told the tabloid newspaper, "[Gundogan] is pushing hard for a first-team comeback. He's played a few development games and friendlies.
"His progress has been great and the coaching staff are delighted. Pep will take a closer look at him this week. The medical staff will have a say, but he has fully recovered from his injury and it’s just down to his core fitness now.
"He settled quickly at the club before his injury, and it's just about getting him back on track to where he was."
Gundogan hasn't played a competitive first-team game for City since suffering knee ligament damage during a Premier League fixture against Watford in December.
Having arrived in England short of fitness last summer, Gundogan initially made a slow start to his City career on the pitch, but had started to find his feet by the time injury struck, making his subsequent lengthy absence an even crueller blow.
His injury then became the subject of much increased talk after his team-mates questionably chose to 'honour' him ahead of their next game by wearing shirts with his name before kick-off.
That brought the comical response of 'Don't worry, I'm still alive' from the player on Twitter.