Aymeric Laporte injury: Manchester City defender now 'weeks' away from first-team return
Last Updated: 03/01/20 2:45pm
Aymeric Laporte has resumed light training and is now a matter of "weeks" away from a return to Manchester City's first team, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Laporte has been out of action since August when he injured his ACL against Brighton in the Premier League, and was subsequently ruled out until the new year.
He trained with the rest of the City squad for 10-15 minutes ahead of this weekend's FA Cup third-round tie against Port Vale and Guardiola revealed he has not suffered any setbacks on his road to recovery.
"Yesterday he trained with the team for the first time for 10-15 minutes, [and then] today again," he said.
"The rest he is doing individually and he is getting better, he feels good. I think in the next weeks he will complete all the training sessions for us.
"I don't know [about an exact return date]. You think a little bit and you suggest it will be in these days or these games. I think he will dictate and tell us how he feels. He has been out for four months, everything needs it's process.
"The important thing is he didn't make a step back during this four five months, the same case as Leroy [Sane]. It's incredible, we are grateful for the physios and specialists who were with him."
Intelligent Garcia has got us through
Eighteen-year-old centre-back Eric Garcia has been thrust into first-team action to cover for the absences of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Laporte.
Guardiola lavished the youngster with praise for playing out of position at such an early stage in his career, as the left-sided centre-back.
"Last season he played a few games in the Carabao Cup and did really well. This season as well, he is a guy who does not mistakes. He is very clever with his movement - it is not easy for him to be on the left side with a right foot.
"I'm not a nice guy because I gave him an opportunity but he would be comfortable playing on the right foot, the left is not easy, but he is coping so well.
"He is a guy who doesn't make mistakes and he is intelligent. He helped us with many problems that we had, Nico had problems and John is coming back, we had just Fernandinho in these games."