Leroy Sane returns to Man City training five weeks early

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After sustaining a nasty ankle injury with confirmed ligament damage, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola ruled Young Player of the Season candidate Leroy Sane out for two months.

That was two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old has returned to training and while Guardiola says he’s not yet 100% healthy, Sane is fit enough to be included in the squad for the Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Basel on Tuesday.

“He is not in perfect condition, but he has run a lot and wants to help us,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference. “It is not perfect, but he is with us, and that is good news. They have done a good job, both the physios and Leroy himself.”

Sane’s return is a massive boost for Manchester City, who were hit hard by injuries through the festive period but are slowly getting healthier, with only Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus still out with long-term injuries. The German national team will also be lifted by Sane’s earlier return, although they could be left frustrated if it turns out he has returned too quickly, which risks a longer-term problem.

Guardola had nothing but praise for his youngster for putting in the time to return this early. “I am surprised, but he has worked a lot,” Guardiola said. “I couldn’t expect it with a young guy, to be so professional.