Tevez close to City return as Silva hails his 'character'
Published 24/02/2012 | 05:00
CARLOS TEVEZ could return to boost Manchester City's title challenge as early as next week for the Premier League fixture against Bolton after being welcomed back into the fold by senior team-mates.
Tevez, who ended his self-imposed three-month exile in Argentina last week by returning to Manchester, met manager Roberto Mancini yesterday morning for the first time since apologising for his recent conduct.
Having also dropped his appeal against a £1.2m fine for misconduct, the 28-year-old has been told by Mancini that he will be considered for first-team duty once he proves his fitness.
Tevez has surprised City's coaching staff with his fitness levels, but tomorrow's home game against Blackburn is regarded as coming too soon to bring him back into the squad.
City's recent form means Mancini is under no pressure to recall Tevez, whose last game for the club was against Birmingham in the Carling Cup in September, but the view among the players is that he can boost their title push.
"I saw him this morning for the first time in training and wished him all the best," said David Silva.
"Before he was away, he was a very important player for us. Now he is back, it is a good thing. Clearly Carlos is a good player and if he is physically fit it will be good to have him.
"He has shown before he has good character and determination and he is the kind of player who can get his form back a lot quicker than others who have been away that long.
"It's important to have four strikers, it makes it easier for those playing behind them. It could be an important factor in winning the league."
Joleon Lescott added: "We are confident that if he does get his chance, he will score a lot of goals. There have been moments when we could have done with him -- he is a quality player." (© Daily Telegraph, London)