Samir Nasri is aiming to return from injury in time for the final stretch of City’s title challenge after admitting he’s currently ahead of schedule.
Though he will be following the carefully planned programme set out by the medical team, he has targeted the March international break to back in full training with the squad – and if he achieves his goal, he could be available for the last six weeks of campaign.
It was originally feared Nasri’s season was over after he severely damaged his thigh muscle and tendon during a training session last October, but the French play-maker – who has only started two games this season – is set to hand Manuel Pellegrini a major boost for the crucial final games of the campaign.
“We had a session after the October international break and everything was going well,” recalled Samir. “Then, right at the end I played a one-two with Fernando and the ball was a little bit behind me – we were playing two-touch - and I had the ball ready to shoot but I could see Aleks coming from behind me.
“I hesitated before I shot and wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. I went for the shot and as soon as I did, I felt my leg going from under me with no challenge and I just screamed as I hit the ball because the pain was so intense and collapsed on the floor.
The scan two days later revealed the extent of the damage which was a real set-back because I was feeling great and had just played in the game against Bournemouth
“The original estimate by the doctors was that I’d be out for between four to six months and the surgeon told me the same, but I’ve already done two months and I’m targeting the international beak in March to be back properly with the squad.
“I broke my fibula during my second year at Arsenal and was out for nearly six months but with this injury I had to have an operation that resulted in nearly 100 stitches in my thigh – my surgeon told me this was a rare injury as the muscle had detached from the bone and the tendon was also 90% detached and had to be stitched back together so it was something that doesn’t happen very often.”
Originally fearing his season was over, Nasri tweeted as much a few days later, but even in January, he can now see light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m a little advanced on my schedule,” said the 28-year-old. “Everything goes a little slow at this stage but I’ve started to do the rehab in the gym, doing two of three hours’ work on the bikes trying to build the muscle back up and this week I should start to run again which is pretty good news.
“It also means I’ll be sort of back training with the squad and will see my team-mates every day.
“We have a schedule and at the moment we are ahead. We have a fantastic medical team here and though you always want to set targets to be back as a soon as possible, I want to return and be fully fit without any problems because this was kind of a big injury.
“The physios are having to be careful about how I recover, but I want to work hard and be back with the squad before the end of the season and I want to be back training normally with the team towards the end of March.”
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