(Reuters) - Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus could play a part in the final weeks of his team’s Premier League campaign after recovering from a broken bone in his foot, manager Pep Guardiola said on Wednesday.
Brazil international Jesus made an instant impact after joining City in January, with three goals in four league games before picking up the injury against Bournemouth in February.
The 19-year-old dovetailed seamlessly with wingers Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, keeping the more experienced Sergio Aguero out of the side, so his return to training and the possibility of featuring for City in the run-in are a welcome boost for his manager.
“Yesterday was his first day running on the pitch,” Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.
“I don’t know exactly how many weeks it will be but he is at the end part of the process. Hopefully, he can help us over the last games.”
Fourth-placed City face league leaders Chelsea on Wednesday in a match that could have a significant bearing on the Premier League title race.
Chelsea have a seven-point lead at the top of the table going into the game, and although Guardiola said they were there on merit, he said the London club’s title charge had been aided by their lack of European football this season.
“Chelsea will be a big game and especially a big game away. It is important to learn from these kinds of games for the future,” the Spaniard said.
”Chelsea deserve to be where they are. They have won a lot of games and deserve their position.
“They play less games, they have more time to prepare. But Chelsea will be in Europe next year and they have the quality to compete.”
City will be without defender Bacary Sagna for the next few weeks due to a hamstring injury but fellow full back Pablo Zabaleta is fit for the game.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru,; Editing by Neville Dalton