Saturday 7 December 2019

Guardiola hopeful Manchester City striker Jesus could return against Basel

Gabriel Jesus suffered medial-ligament damage against Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve
Gabriel Jesus suffered medial-ligament damage against Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve

Gabriel Jesus could return ahead of schedule from his knee injury and make the first leg of Manchester City's Champions League tie with Basel next month.

The striker went to Barcelona on Thursday to visit knee specialist Dr Ramon Cugat having suffered medial collateral ligament damage against Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve.

Jesus left the pitch at Selhurst Park in tears and there were initial fears that he could miss the opening two months of 2018.

However, City boss Pep Guardiola is now optimistic the 20-year-old will return to his fold by the end of January or early February.

City face Basel in Switzerland on February 13 and Guardiola is optimistic Jesus will be in the squad for the first leg of that last-16 tie.

"Yesterday (Thursday) he was in Barcelona with Dr Cugat and at the end the news is quite good," Guardiola revealed.

"I think in two, three weeks, hopefully the day against Basel, the Champions League game, (he) could be fit, could be ready.

"I think in two, three weeks he will be ready again with us."

Jesus will still be sidelined when Premier League leaders City travel to Liverpool on Sunday hoping to maintain their unbeaten run in domestic competitions this season.

Guardiola is also set to be without captain Vincent Kompany once again due to another calf complaint that has kept him sidelined for the past four fixtures.

"I think Vincent is not ready," Guardiola confirmed.

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