Nedum Onuoha will begin his comeback from injury in earnest in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night.
The former England under 21 captain, who has been missing from the squad since the 4-2 win over Arsenal in September, had a gentle run out with the reserves in a friendly at the weekend and is ready to step up is bid to return to first team action.
Onuoha, whose love for the club can be gauged by a series of three films to be screened exclusively on mcfc.co.uk this week, is one of the senior players with the squad that will face the United Arab Emirates national side.
He has yet to feature this season after being an unused substitute in the opening five games of the season and then damaging his thigh in a reserve outing at Wigan.
But the 22-year-old, who has more than eighty league and cup starts under his belt, finished last season in a blaze of glory and will be hoping to get his chance to help a defence that has kept just one clean sheet in its last ten outings.
“Nedum has been going about his rehabilitation in the same professional manner in which he does everything,” reported boss Mark Hughes.
It will be good to get him back in the group again and increasing the competition for places at the back.
Onuoha is joined on the visit to Abu Dhabi, home of Blues owner Sheikh Mansour, by several other senior players.
Sylvinho, Stephen Ireland, Pablo Zabaleta, Benjani, Stuart Taylor and Javier Garrido are all expected to play in the friendly when there will also be a chance for the some youngsters to shine in front of the manager.
Kieran Trippier, Alex Nimely, Ben Mee and Javan Vidal will all be hoping to make some kind of statement that they could soon be ready to make the step up.
Robinho will also travel with the party but will not play as he recovers from a stress fracture that has kept him on the sidelines since the end of August.
Whilst in Abu Dhabi, City’s CITC staff will conduct coaching clinics at the Al Jazeera Stadium, there will be a signing session backed by Umbro and a City Live @ the Emirates Palace event for fans. Former Platt Lane chief Jim Cassell will also be with the party to further the development of international Academies.
The trip also marks the opening of the training pitch specially constructed for the Blues inside the Emirates Palace.