Bacary Sagna has resumed full training and is targeting a return to Pep Guardiola’s starting XI after the current international break.
The French defender has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring tear during the first half of France's 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Bulgaria in October.
But he returned to training with the rest of the City squad last week and believes he could be ready to play against Crystal Palace on November 19.
“I’m back training with the team after one month on my own,” Sagna says. “It was difficult because I wanted to be with them on the pitch but I’m finally back training with the squad.
“I came back on Friday but obviously it was too short for me to play the game [against Middlesbrough].
“I didn’t go with the national team. I decided to stay here to get some match fitness and I will be ready for the next game.
“That’s the target [to be back for Palace]. I feel good today. I’m trying to get my pace back, I’m trying to get my fitness back and I feel really good. I have another week to get even more ready.”
In his absence, City have drawn three consecutive home matches against Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough – a frustrating sequence given City’s dominance in each of them.
Sagna admits it’s been difficult to watch from the stands – but he believes the team deserves credit for their performances, even if the results left some people disappointed.
“When you are in the stands, you just want to be on the pitch and try to bring something different to the team, if you can,” he says. “I think we could have won all of them. Tottenham was a bit more difficult – but all of them were winnable.
“The team did well. If you look back to the way we played, it was amazing. We were just not clinical enough to win the games. Like against Middlesbrough…I still don’t understand how we didn’t win the game.”