Michael Johnson is just a few weeks from pulling on a City shirt again after making a full recovery from the knee injury that has sidelined him for the past 12 months.
The news will delight City fans who hold the 22-year-old midfielder in high esteem and are desperate to see him back in the side, doing what he does best.
“I feel really good and I’ve started running again so things are going well,” said Johnson. “Fitness-wise I’m somewhere near the level I was before I had the run of injuries I’ve – probably stronger if anything.
“My knee feels great and I’ve had no problems whatsoever, but after two years out it takes time to build up to world class endurance levels and that is something I’ll be striving for over a period of time.
I’m looking to get playing reserve team football within a couple of weeks and then we’ll take it from there
"I reckon I’ll need a good few matches before I’m ready to challenge for a first team place because I’ve been out for so long.
“I’m not looking to go out on loan but if it’s deemed something that will help me get up to match fitness quicker, we’ll see what the manager wants to do.”
With the Blues’ struggling to find the net this season, Johnson’s driving runs from midfield will give Roberto Mancini another attacking option and Michael feels he can add a different dimension to the midfield.
“I’d like to say I think I will be able to bring something different because every player wants to feel that they can add something to the team and I think I could give us a different option,” he said.
“The team isn’t quite firing at the moment, but we can score goals and it’s only been the last two games that we struggled in front of goal a little, but I’m certain we’ll start to click again soon, hopefully at Fulham on Sunday.”
The Manchester-born crowd favourite’s imminent return has endorsed the manager’s decision to include him in his 25-man squad for the Premier League and he could be available for first team selection before Christmas..
“I’ve not set any targets for myself,” he said. “I just want to build up my stamina, play a few games in the reserves and then perhaps next month I’ll be ready to play if and when the manager needs me.”