Pep Guardiola is adamant Vincent Kompany still has a role to play at Manchester City this season regardless of his limited playing time.
The Belgium international has made just six appearances in all competitions in 2016-17 due to ongoing injury concerns, but recently returned to training after shaking off a leg problem.
Guardiola believes Kompany might need some time to get up to scratch tactically, but has little doubt the centre-back will make an impact this term.
"I think he has all the qualities," Guardiola told reporters.
"But, of course, many things we train a lot of times he was not involved. Now in that moment we have two games every two or three days, we do not have a lot of time.
"We have to see how his [play] is, but he is so intelligent and I think he understands because he is always curious about the game and asks why we do that and not the other one. He will want to get it as soon as possible.
"He was injured in the last three weeks and just came back two or three days ago and we did not train too much in tactics and ideas because we have games every two days-and-a-half or three days.
"But, he will get it. I think when the team is stable the central defenders are much better and so it depends on everybody.
"And, of course, in the end of the next two-and-a-half months, at the end of the season, he can help our team."
City travel to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.