Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is back in training, but manager Pep Guardiola warned that “he needs some time” to reach his “top level”.
Kompany has played just three league games this season, and has not appeared since suffering knee-ligament damage against Crystal Palace on 19 November.
That was his 35th separate injury since joining City from Hamburg in 2008.
“We can’t deny how good Vincent is, but to achieve that we need time,” said Guardiola.
“Everybody needs time when they have been a long time injured, but his mentality is strong,” he added.
“What I would like is for him not to put a lot of pressure on himself. He has to feel that his manager and team-mates will give him the time he needs after a long time away from the pitch.”
The Belgium international, 30, has made 223 appearances for City in his eight years at the club, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups.
Guardiola said he was in contention to return against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, but that he was undecided whether to include him in his Champions League squad for the knockout stages of the competition.
One man who will not be playing at the weekend is Gabriel Jesus, with the Brazil forward waiting for his registration papers to be completed.
“When the FA solves the problems, he will be able to play,” said Guardiola.
City bought the 19-year-old for £27m plus add-ons from Palmeiras in the summer, but he completed the domestic season in Brazil before joining.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38614064