Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been boosted by the news that Jack Rodwell is closing in on a return from injury.
Rodwell has made just six appearances since his move to City in the summer and has not played since October after struggling with hamstring problems.
But after over three months on the sidelines, the former Everton midfielder is set to return to training this week and is hoping to make his City comeback next month.
"I feel really fit - I've been doing a lot of strengthening work because I've been out so long with my hamstring injuries so it's taken time," Rodwell told City's official website.
"My first injury was my left hamstring which kept me out for five weeks and then my right hamstring started to niggle which put me back to square one.
"It's easily the worst injury set-back of my career because I've been out for more than three months, now. It's been frustrating and like most players, I'm not the best spectator in the world - it obviously helps when the lads win - but I'm almost there now.
"I'll begin full training this week - all being well. Then I'll need ten days to a fortnight to get back up to speed and I'll be available for selection again."