Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland is Man City's top scorer this season with 19 goals in 22 games across competitions Molly Darlington/Reuters

Manchester City finally have a couple of target dates for the return of star striker Erling Haaland, who has been sidelined for over a month due to a foot injury.

Haaland, who last played in Manchester City's 1-0 loss at Aston Villa on Dec. 6, has missed his club's last nine matches across competitions, which included their win at the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

The Norway international participated in his side's full training session on the final day of the club's warm-weather camp in Abu Dhabi and did not suffer any pain, according to reports in the local media.

It has also been reported that Manchester City are "taking it steady' with reintroducing Haaland on the field and that their FA Cup fourth round tie against Tottenham on Friday could come too soon for their top striker.

Manchester City are eyeing to have Haaland back in action for their Premier League meeting with Burnley on Jan. 31. The Eithad side are also looking at the following Premier League fixture away at Brentford on Feb. 5.

Haaland: I'm bored of not playing

Haaland was named the best men's player for 2023 at the Globe Soccer Awards last week. During an interview, Haaland expressed he really "enjoys being" at a "fantastic club" like Manchester City.

"I hope to be back really soon from injury, I'm getting bored of not playing," added City's No. 9.

Meanwhile, Man City boss Pep Guardiola recently admitted that Haaland's injury turned out to be "a little bit more" serious than they had expected.

Speaking before Man City's 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Jan. 13, Guardiola said:" A little bit of disturbing problems in his feet. It's fine. The doctors decided to stop for one week and maybe restart in Abu Dhabi.

"Hopefully, at the end of this month, he'll be ready. It [the injury] was a little bit more than we expected in the beginning. It's a bone, it needs time."

Guardiola added that when a player gets injured at the end of November, they miss a lot of games as "it's the toughest period". The Spanish boss also said that Haaland was not like someone like Phil Foden "with a smaller skin – Erling is huge".

Even though Haaland has not played for more than a month, he remains Manchester City's top scorer in the 2023-24 campaign. The 23-year-old striker has scored 19 goals and provided five assists in 22 games across competitions.

Premier League's top 2 scorers injured

Co-incidentally, two top scorers in the Premier League this season are injured – Haaland and Mohamed Salah, who have netted 14 goals each.

Liverpool could be without Salah reportedly for a month, with the Egyptian King's agent revealing his issue is "more serious than first thought".

"Mohammed's injury is more serious than first thought and he will be out for 21-28 days, and not 2 games. His best chance at participating in the current AFCON is by undergoing intensive rehabilitation in the UK and rejoining the team as soon as he is fit," wrote Ramy Abbas Issa on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Salah is recognised as one of the least injury prone players Liverpool have had in modern times. The current break could actually see him equal the longest lay-off of his career, which was 28 days due to an ankle injury while he was at AS Roma in 2015.

The Egypt international suffered a hamstring injury during his nation's 2-2 draw with Ghana at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast. The player is expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks.

Liverpool could possibly have him back in action when they take on Burnley at home on Feb. 10. Salah has netted 18 goals and provided nine assists in 27 matches in all competitions for the Reds.