Date: 3rd September 2009 at 5:19pm
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City gaffer Mark Hughes has been using the leisurely international break to visit the City medical team and find out how the three musketeers are doing…

Sparky filled in the official site with a brief run down of how his revitalised squad’s only absentees are progressing and the trend is certainly one of positivity.

On Roque Santa Cruz…

‘We’re happy with him, as I’ve said before we have to give him the time he needs, and he is working really hard. He’s desperate to play, but we’re holding him back a bit because we have a break at the moment. The internationals actually come at a good time for him, psychologically he’s not missing any more games but he’s adding to his fitness. When Roque is ready he will be involved, we want to get him in a City shirt and out there playing because he is going to be a big asset for us. With our options up front, we can give him the time he needs.

‘We’re looking at the long-term with him, if we introduced him too early we could still lose him on a longer basis. Roque understands our thinking over this, he’s a bit frustrated but we will all benefit from it.’

On Vincent Kompany…

‘Vinnie’s doing well; we are having to try to keep the reins on him too. The bone in the toe needs the time it deserves to heal, if you don’t do that then the player is compromised. It will heal in its own time, but he is pain-free and raring to go.’

And finally, Michael Johnson…

‘We’re positive, Michael saw a specialist a few weeks back, was very happy afterwards and since then we have been building up his fitness. The approach we are taking with Michael is that we want to give him games to give him a base level of fitness. He’s been out for a year; if we rush him back he could break down. We’ll get him involved with the reserves, and if we get him and the other two up and running in the next month or so it would be like three new signings for us.’

Great news indeed. As City aim to build upon the sound platform the team have already built this season and considering the squad’s continuing international call up commitments, Sparky is going to need every option available and firing.

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