January 5, 2017 / 3:41 PM / a year ago

Manchester City skipper Kompany nearing first-team return

REUTERS - Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has returned to first-team training for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in November but Friday’s third-round FA Cup clash at West Ham United comes too soon for the defender.

Football Soccer Britain - Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round - Old Trafford - 26/10/16 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany applauds fans after the game Reuters / Darren Staples Livepic/Files

The 30-year-old Kompany has started only two Premier League matches this season and has been plagued by calf, groin and thigh injuries this year. British media reported that he has had 35 separate injury problems since joining City from German club Hamburg in 2008.

“He has started training now but he’s not ready to play tomorrow,” manager Pep Guardiola told reporters on Thursday.

Guardiola also ended speculation about his own early retirement after recently telling an interviewer he was approaching the end of his coaching career and the process of bidding goodbye has already started.

“I said in the interview that I am not going to training when I am 60 years old. But guys, I am 45. I am not going to retire in two, three years,” the Spaniard said.

”I love my job and I am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England. I started to play football as a young guy. My career was on the pitch. I want to do something else in my life.

“But not in the next three, four, five, six, seven years. I said 60-65 I would not go to training. But I am not thinking I am going to retire.”

Guardiola said he would not be making changes to his starting line-up for Friday’s game at West Ham.

“No (to squad rotation). West Ham are a Premier League team. We are away, it’s tough. I want to continue in the competition,” he said.

“From what I hear, the FA Cup is special because the low teams can beat the big teams -- that’s why it’s fascinating. I‘m looking forward to it.”

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Clare Fallon

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