Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed Dutch defender Nathan Ake is due back in training after ten weeks out with a leg injury.
Ake made just nine appearances in all competitions for City before going down with a muscular injury during a training session in late December, forcing him to miss the last 17 matches in City’s 20-game winning streak.
He has been the only player unavailable to Guardiola in recent weeks, but the boss confirmed ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Wolves that Ake is currently scheduled to return to full training on Wednesday.
“He struggled to make a good recovery,” Guardiola said (via the club’s official website). “The process to recover was lower than expected. Some players are like this. He did everything. The physios worked hard.
“We are happy he is coming back the day after the game. The next day we train together he will be with us.”
Guardiola also took the chance to warn his players that they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas pedal, despite being such heavy favourites to win the Premier League. City currently sit 12 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, but the gulf in quality between Guardiola’s side and the rest of the division has been clear to see.
“This is the moment when I feel that [if] everyone is thinking, the job is done, or how good it is, then this guy is not going to play,” he added (via The Guardian). “I’m so intuitive to know exactly the guys who are not ready to continue what we have to do.
“The champion is Liverpool, we are not. To do it [become champions] we still have to win eight, nine or ten games – it’s a lot of games.
“There are incredible teams who struggle for four or five games to win games so it can happen to us too. Last season it happened and at the beginning of the season it happened. We were unable to win three games in a row in the first two months.
“As much as we win and get results, we have to demand and be over the players and say we can do better.”