Pep Guardiola has provided an injury update on his star players ahead of a crucial week for Manchester City.
The Spaniard spoke to the press ahead of his side's home encounter with Leicester City on Saturday (via the Manchester Evening News) as he revealed that the likes of John Stones, Gabriel Jesus and even Leroy Sane were making good progress in their battles to regain full fitness.
Jesus has been unavailable for selection so far in 2018, thanks to a knee problem he sustained in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve, but may be back within two weeks.
Stones, meanwhile, has missed the last two games through unknown reasons and Sane suffered ankle ligament damage when he was challenged by Joe Bennett during his side's 2-0 FA Cup victory over Cardiff.
The latter was expected to be out for six weeks but Guardiola hinted that he may make a remarkably recovery and could be ready to feature again in the near future.
Guardiola said: "Gabriel is coming back soon. Maybe he is ready in one week, ten days, two weeks. Stones is back too. We will have 18 players on the bench so Gary Neville can be happy!
Pep Guardiola says he hopes Riyad Mahrez plays against Manchester City. John Stones is back but no David Silva, Leroy Sane or Gabriel Jesus yet.— Jonathan Smith (@jonnysmiffy) February 9, 2018
(You may also be interested in Leroy Sane Steps Up Injury Rehab After Pep Guardiola Failed to Secure January Reinforcements)
"Leroy Sane won't be back soon but he has started running. I don't think he will be fit to face Basel."
City have played 39 games in all competitions so far this term as they had fought for silverware on four fronts, and some of their players have started to look a tad jaded in recent times.
Will Silva be back for the Champions league?— MASTER (@kayodey2k4) February 9, 2018
Guardiola admitted that the heavy schedule had taken its toll on his squad - particularly club record scorer Sergio Aguero - and revealed that the recent short warm training camp in Dubai was as a result of trying to recharge his team's energy levels ahead of the 2017/18 run-in.
He added: "I would like to give him some rest but he is the only striker that we have. He is making a huge effort and doing really well.
"We had a lot of games since August and just one midweek off, we needed [a rest]. We made three good training sessions and then we come back. We love to play football but when you play every three days, sometimes a break is good for everybody."