Manchester City could have Raheem Sterling back ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 clash with Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola confirmed.
The 25-year-old has been out of action for three weeks with a hamstring injury that he picked up in City’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur (February 2), but he should make his return in midweek.
When asked if Sterling could face Real, Guardiola told City’s official website: “I think so – he’s getting there. This kind of injury is a little bit dangerous. He feels really well but the doctor says it’s three weeks and we don’t want to take a risk.
“We want for this game against Madrid and the second leg for him to be able to play. Without any chance to win the Premier League, it’s better not to take a risk when we don’t have to.”
Sterling has made 35 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring and creating 26 goals. The England international has been on fire in the Champions League, contributing eight goals in six games, so it’s no surprise Guardiola wants him back.
City booked their place in the last-16 after finishing top of Group C with 14 points from six games. They’re unbeaten in the competition this season and have conceded only four goals so far ahead of their meeting with Real.
Guardiola has Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez at his disposal if Sterling misses out on Wednesday, but his latest injury update is good news for the Citizens. He’s unlikely to start but will be a good option from the bench.