Manchester City will welcome back Yaya Toure for their Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday 15 March. The influential Ivory Coast midfielder missed the disappointing goalless draw with relegation candidates Norwich City at the weekend due to a pain in his heel.
However, Toure returned to first-team training on Monday (14 March) and Manuel Pellegrini has since confirmed that he will be in contention for the visit of Sergei Rebrov's Ukrainian champions. The hosts currently hold a commanding aggregate lead after goals from Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Toure secured a comprehensive 3-1 victory at the Olympic Stadium in February.
"Yaya is fit to play tomorrow," the manager, who is set to be succeeded by Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, was quoted as saying by City's official website at his pre-match press conference. "He has no problems. Nasri, Delph and De Bruyne, I expect they can play a friendly game during the international break."
The gradual return to fitness of that latter trio will come as a huge boost for City. Samir Nasri has been sidelined since October 2015, when he underwent surgery and required almost 100 stitches due to a serious issue with both his thigh muscle and tendon. Injury-plagued Delph has sat out seven matches with an achilles problem, while £55m ($78.7m) summer signing De Bruyne's hugely promising start to life back in English football was interrupted by knee ligament damage suffered during the 3-1 Capital One Cup semi-final triumph over Everton in late January.
Pellegrini has previously expressed his belief that all three midfielders will be in a position to return in April and the prospect of a friendly suggests that their respective recoveries remain on track. While it may be too late for City to rescue their faltering Premier League title bid with that aforementioned stalemate at Carrow Road leaving them fourth and nine points adrift of the summit ahead of Leicester's meeting with Newcastle, they remain contenders to win their maiden European Cup bar an unlikely comeback from Kiev. Nasri is no longer eligible to feature in the competition after his squad place was handed to Kelechi Iheanacho before the knockout stages began.