Manchester City star Leroy Sané is set for a February return after stepping up his recovery from a long-term knee injury in Los Angeles.
The German winger has missed all of City's 2019/20 campaign after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Cityzens' Community Shield victory over Liverpool back in August.
However, Pep Guardiola is expecting the 23-year-old to return a month earlier than expected should his recovery remain on course.
Currently working with the City staff in LA, Sané is already back in the gym and is set to intensify his recovery work after the international break. Both his doctors in Germany and City’s conditioning staff are pleased with how quickly he is progressing and, according to The Sun, the player has told close friends that he is way ahead of schedule.
The winger's injury has quickly proven to be a big blow for Guardiola's side, with City six points off the the pace going into their crunch fixture with table-toppers Liverpool on Sunday.
When he does return, Sane's speed, directness and willingness to get in behind the opposition backline will be a major boost for a City side that has often looked predictable and sometimes stale going forward this season.
Since arriving from Schalke in the summer of 2016, Sane has been a key player in City's recent success, bagging 39 goals and 45 assists in 134 games for the club. His last two Premier League campaigns have seen him make 46 goal contributions in 63 appearances. Considering the competitiveness for a slot on City's wings, especially last season, that is quite the return.
However, City will likely have to fight off interest from Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern in upcoming transfer windows. The winger's injury scuppered a move in the summer, with the Manchester club asking for a fee in excess of £130m for Sané's services. But the recent news of his recovery will undoubtedly encourage the Bavarian giants to go in for him once more.