Bruising return to action for Tevez
Published 29/02/2012 | 05:00
After his refusal to warm up in Munich, his 12-week vacation in Argentina, millions of pounds in fines and the months of blame and counter-claim, Carlos Tevez finally made a return to action for Manchester City yesterday.
The controversial striker played 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors match against Preston at his side's Carrington training ground.
The Argentinian, who had not played for City since falling out with manager Roberto Mancini in September, apparently saw "plenty of action without getting a goal chance", according to City's Twitter feed.
Preston's reserves ensured that Tevez was on the receiving end of some robust tackles as he began to re-acquaint himself with the pleasures of the English game under the watchful eye of fellow City striker and compatriot Sergio Aguero.
The result? Preston won 3-1.
Tevez has been given his own fitness programme but is also being reintegrated into senior training sessions.
Mancini said last week he believed Tevez was two or three weeks away from fitness. That would suggest Saturday's home clash against Bolton is too soon for a comeback but the following weekend's trip to Swansea is a possibility.
Tevez, who has scored 52 goals in 91 appearances for City, is not registered to play in the Europa League but offers Mancini a fourth striking option in the Premier League title race.