Roberto Mancini has revealed he could bring Carlos Tevez back into the Manchester City fold, but admits the striker is unlikely to be in peak form.
City's defeat at Swansea on Sunday saw them surrender top spot in the Premier League for the first time since October, and with their title bid faltering, Mancini is considering bringing his former captain back for their crunch clash against Chelsea next week.
Tevez has not played for City since September after allegedly refusing to warm up during City's Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. He began training last month after going AWOL to Argentina for several months and failing to secure a move away from Eastlands in Janaury.
The former Manchester United striker scored for the reserves last week as he continued his preparations for a first-team comeback, and while he is not expected to be in contention for City's Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, he could be in the squad for the visit of Chelsea on March 21.
"Carlos needs to train again, maybe another 10 days," Mancini said. "I don't think that Carlos can play the first game and be 100% after five months. This is impossible. I think he could help us in the last two months."