By 90Min
August 10, 2019

Riyad Mahrez will start Manchester City's first game of the Premier League season on Saturday, after passing an anti-doping test to clear him after the scare which kept him out of the Community Shield. 

The Algerian underwent a private procedure on his nose following his side's success at the Africa Cup of Nations, but the lack of appropriate paperwork detailing medicines given to him troubled club doctors upon his return to Manchester.

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Mahrez had been away with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, where he netted three times in the competition, including a stunning injury time free kick to send his country through to the final. He has since returned but has faced questions over the procedure he underwent after the competition. 

Pep Guardiola has now confirmed that the surgery was to aid his breathing, and that UKAD have now travelled to test the City star and took no issue. Quoted by the Mail, he explained: "The doctor - not from the national team - didn't send the necessary (paperwork)."

The manager went on to discuss the club's decision to exclude Mahrez from the last game against Liverpool, saying: "It was a precaution, we had to be careful. It was better not to use him. This week they (UKAD) came and tested him and he's ready.

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"Every time you take something you have to inform the club and make the lists. Everyone knows that. Everything is clear and fine and everything is fine. He can play."

The 28-year-old has only been back training for one week but his availability is a major boost for the reigning Premier League champions, who will be without Leroy Sane for up to seven months after his anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Community Shield.

Guardiola took time to address the rumours regarding Sane's potential departure and reassured fans. He said: "I didn't think about him leaving...I've always said the same, he is our player and he never told me he wanted to leave. I always thought he was ours.

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"With Leroy absent we have more space, a lot of games, one less forward player so he [Mahrez] is going to play. The way they are training I'll try to let everyone play." 

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