Manchester City have been handed a significant boost ahead of their pivotal Champions League semi-final second-leg trip to Real Madrid, following the return to fitness of Yaya Toure. The influential midfielder, who looks set to leave the club this summer, has been sidelined since a 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City on 23 April with a muscle injury.
The problem kept Toure out for the goalless draw with Real at the Etihad Stadium last week, and also prevented him from featuring during a high-scoring defeat to Southampton that left Manuel Pellegrini's side with only a four-point buffer over rivals Manchester United in fourth, having played one game more. However, the 32-year-old is now back in training and looks set to return to the fold alongside with captain Vincent Kompany and key attacking duo Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, a trio of players that were all rested on the south coast.
"Yaya Toure trained with the Manchester City squad on Tuesday morning ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid," City confirmed via their official website, with Pellegrini set to conduct his pre-match press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu later today (3 May).
"The Ivorian has not featured since the 4-0 win at Stoke on 23 April because of a muscle injury, but could come back into contention for the Bernabeu game. As expected, there was no David Silva, but skipper Vincent Kompany, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and striker Sergio Aguero were all in attendance... after sitting out Sunday's defeat at Southampton."
Silva did start in the first leg of the semi-final, but lasted just 40 minutes before a hamstring injury led to him being replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho. His manager subsequently described the issue as "small" but revealed that he will need two or three weeks to recover, meaning the skilful Spaniard will miss the return fixture in addition to City's final two Premier League matches – at home to Arsenal and away to Swansea City. He would presumably be fit in time for the Champions League final to be held at Milan's San Siro stadium on 28 May, should his side make it that far.
As for Real, talisman and top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is in line to return after a thigh complaint that ruled him out of the initial tie, as well Saturday's 1-0 win at Real Sociedad. Karim Benzema trained on his own yesterday after being withdrawn at half-time against City with his own hamstring problem, while defensive midfielder Casemiro is doubtful due to a sore hip that has restricted him to indoor training only.