Roque Santa Cruz revealed just how pleased he is to be back on the field after his 73 minute appearance for City in their 4-0 win over Limerick.
City’s Paraguayan hitman had only featured for the Elite Development Squad this pre-season but he partnered Edin Dzeko for the first team in Ireland on Sunday night.
“There are a couple of players who haven’t played so much this pre-season so it was good to have a game and build up some match fitness,” said Santa Cruz.
Roque notched a goal in his last outing against Oldham Athletic but although he wasn’t on the scoresheet in Limerick, he did find time to share his delight at his strike partner’s brace in the match.
“I’m really pleased for Edin to come back in and get a couple of goals after his injury, it’s really good for his confidence looking ahead to the new season,” said the striker.
The five-time Bundesliga winner hasn’t played for City in a competitive first-team match since November 2010, spending last season on loan at La Liga outfit Real Betis.
He made 33 Spanish league appearances in 2011/12, with his seven goals and prolific partnership with top-scorer Ruben Castro helping the Seville-based club to a 13th place finish.
Media reports have linked Santa Cruz with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer but the striker remains tight-lipped on the speculation, instead concentrating on being match fit for the season which kicks off in two weeks.
“For me, it was great to play for 70 minutes – I had a good, long season last year and I’m just coming back from holiday and feeling good, looking forward to what is coming in the next two weeks," revealed the 30-year old.
It remains to be seen whether Roque did enough against Limerick to be involved in the Community Shield against Chelsea which takes place on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero is set to be fit after being withdrawn as a precaution after the tackle by Emanuel Pogatetz in the friendly against Wolfsburg.