Fan favourite Micah Richards says he’s almost at the end of his road to recovery and the City defender is itching to get back!
The 24-year-old has been side-lined since sustaining an ankle injury while playing for Team GB at the London Olympics, but he says things are looking good.
“It’s probably going to take about two more weeks,” Micah revealed.
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made so far because it was quite a bad one, but I can’t wait to just get back in among the squad. I have loads of positive messages from fans and I am grateful for that.
“I’ve got so much respect for the supporters for always getting behind me. I’ve been here since I was 14, this will be my eighth season in the Premier League and they’ve supported me all the way, through the good times and bad.”
After the team finished last season on such a high, the full-back admitted that missing pre-season as well as the first few games has been difficult.
“Winning the league was an amazing time for everyone involved at the club I guess it wasn’t meant to be for me at the start of the season. I suppose it’s part and parcel of football, you know, injuries come with it,” he said.
“I think you just have to take it on the chin and get on with it really.
“It was hard, having been at the Olympics and then having to miss the first four or five games – it has not been easy.
“It’s especially hard when you know there are more players coming in and there’s more competition.”
The Team GB member does have a fight on his hands to win back his right back birth with Pablo Zabaleta currently filling the role and with the deadline day addition of Maicon - but he remains positive.
“I think you need a big squad. Sometimes last season we had a few injuries and we fell short of the mark sometimes and we didn’t really get the results we needed,” he reflected.
“The manager has been playing a 3-5-2 formation, so there’s more chance that I’m going to play if he goes with that. But if he plays a 4-4-2, it’s going to be me, Zaba and Maicon battling it out for the right back position!
“I don’t mind though, I’ve had competition all my life. I’ve been here seven years and I’m still going, so a little bit of competition just makes it a little bit better.
“I just can’t wait to get back and get back playing and to show everyone what I can do all over again.”
Watching the Blues’ first few encounters from the side-lines, Micah also has his own take on how the season has begun.
“I think we’ve started well, we’ve not really played our best football yet, but if you think about the results, we’ve got two wins and a draw. Liverpool is always a hard place to go and get a result, you know, so I think if you look at it, we’ve started off well,” he claimed.
City also have their work cut out for them as they take on three European giants in the Champions League in the so-called ‘Group of Death,’ although Micah is excited about what lies ahead.
“When I saw Real Madrid come out I thought it was great that we had such a good team to go to. But then when Dortmund and Ajax came out I thought, wow!” he exclaimed.
“Obviously though, if you want to win the Champions League, you have to play the best teams anyway.
“I think last season we didn’t play too well in the competition and we had a tough group, but I think this year we have a harder group, I think we’ve learned a lot from last time though.
“We know there’s a lot more tactics involved in Champions League football and we have to be a bit more cute.
“But I think we’re ready for it and we’ve certainly got the players to go and show everyone that we are a Champions League side and I think this season people will see that.”
Although he is likely to miss at least the first Champions League fixture, away at Madrid, the defender is hoping to be fit for the rest of City’s tantalising European tests.
“Madrid away is going to be massive; I’ve never played at that stadium,” he said.
“Obviously I’m not going to be able to play because of my injury, but I’ll still probably go down with the boys and take in the atmosphere.
“To play against players like Ronaldo and Benzema – it’s going to be good to watch and hopefully we can get something there and hopefully I’ll be involved in some of the other games.”
Despite his Olympic campaign ending in injury, Micah said being involved with Team GB was something he will never forget.
“I think it was probably one of the best times of my life to be honest, to see all the athletes there and to understand how important it is,” he concluded.
“I don’t think you realise how good it is until you’re actually there.
“You want to play in European Championships and in the World Cup, but having played in the Olympics in England - in London - that’s probably never going to happen to me again.
“It was really special to me, I feel proud have been involved.”
The Blues defender was not involved in England’s Euro 2012 campaign this summer after being left out of the squad by Roy Hodgson, but he is hopeful about his future international career.
“If you look at my form last season, when I was playing, I thought I was as good as any English full back in the league,” he said.
“It’s hard for the England manager though, he’s got a lot of players to choose from. There are players in that position who are also very good – Glen Johnson obviously and Kyle Walker got Young Player of the Season last season, so again there’s some good competition there.
“I’ve always said though when I’m fit and I’m playing, I believe I’m as good as anyone in the league. It’s just up to the manager to give me a chance and if he does, I will take it with both hands.”