Manchester City have been buoyed by the news that Matija Nastasic and Sergio Aguero have made swifter-than-expected recoveries from injuries.
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Nastasic, who suffered an ankle problem in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy, is back in training and, while he is not in contention to face Newcastle on Monday, the defender should be able to make his comeback at Cardiff next Sunday.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini said: “He is not ready for the next match but next week he will work normally with the whole squad.”
Aguero has not featured at all in City’s pre-season friendlies because of an ankle injury and missed Argentina’s midweek win over Italy, but Pellegrini could call upon the former Atletico Madrid striker against Newcastle.
He said: “Maybe. He has no problem. He worked with us normally for the last ten days so he is not a problem.”
Pellegrini could give league debuts to his four summer signings -- Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic -- and the Chilean is happy with the business he has done this summer.
He added: “I think we have the squad we need for the year, not only for the Premier League but also Champions League. I am sure we are going to have a very successful season.
“We have had a very good pre-season. I think we are in very good shape. We played seven friendly matches with different starting XIs so most of them had a very similar average of minutes [on the pitch].”