By 90Min
February 15, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has offered an explanation as to why winger Leroy Sane was thrust back into action less than two weeks after sustaining a seemingly nasty ankle injury.

The German international was bearing down on goal against Cardiff in the FA Cup last month and was cynically hacked down by Joe Bennett, forcing him off at half-time.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Initial assessments claimed that Sane would be out of action until around early March, but surprise images emerged of the player participating in training last week.

The 22-year-old was then included in the match day squad to face Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday, and even came on for half an hour in the second half - replacing Raheem Sterling.

Guardiola has now revealed why the youngster was rushed back, claiming it was in-part down to Sterling feeling a slight problem on the night. He said, as quoted by MEN Sport: "[There was a] lack of rhythm but a lot of courage to be here with us to help us.

"Sterling was not so good in the last days - a little muscular problem. He made an effort. I thought Sane would not play but Sterling was not in perfect condition and at 0-4 I didn't want to take a risk. A lack of rhythm is normal given he was two or there weeks out but it's good that he played 30-35 minutes.

"The same with David - he made two training sessions in the last two weeks and it's important to play these 30 minutes to take the rhythm for what is coming in the next weeks."

City put in a convincing performance against their Swiss opponents, coming away with a 4-0 result and looking nailed on for a safe passage into the quarter-finals.

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