Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne gave Manchester City a timely boost as he returned to training on Monday.
The 27-year-old, sidelined with a knee injury since August, rejoined his team-mates at the start of a week that includes a crunch Premier League trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
De Bruyne could first be considered for the Champions League clash with Hoffenheim in Germany after demonstrating extraordinary powers of recovery.
He was expected to miss three months upon suffering lateral collateral ligament damage and last month revealed an expectation to return after the upcoming international break.
However, Pep Guardiola could now usher back the club's reigning player of the season to face Liverpool, with whom City is level on points.
De Bruyne appeared 37 times in the dominant Premier League triumph of last season and featured prominently for Belgium at the World Cup.
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