Manchester City have been given an injury boost ahead of Sunday afternoon’s trip to face Arsenal, with Nathan Ake finally undertaking an individual program on grass.
The 26-year-old has been out of action since December 2020 with a muscle injury, but Pep Guardiola says he’s “closer to coming back” now he’s “training on the pitch”.
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Guardiola said in Friday’s pre-match press conference: “Nathan has come back to training on the pitch. Alone still, but he is closer to coming back with us. The rest are fit.”
Ake has made only nine appearances in all competitions (Transfermarkt) since joining on a five-year deal from Bournemouth in August, scoring one goal.
In October, he was briefly sidelined with a groin injury and missed three games. In November, he was sidelined with a hamstring injury and missed five matches. And since December’s setback, he’s missed 14 games.
The Netherlands international has been absent for a total of 22 games in 2020/21 and his last outing for City came in Boxing Day’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United.
In his absence, Ruben Dias and John Stones have formed a formidable centre-back partnership while Aymeric Laporte waits in the wings, so Ake may struggle to get back into the team when he’s fit.