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Despite a recurrence of the setback that kept him sidelined for much of the first half of the season, the summer arrival is hopeful of playing again before April

Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell has targeted a return to first-team training by the end of March after suffering a hamstring injury.

Following a £12 million summer switch from Everton, the 22-year-old has managed just eight Premier League appearances after a number of injury setbacks - prompting Roberto Mancini to admit to concern over the recurrences.

And Rodwell was again forced off during City's narrow 1-0 win over Aston Villa, but he hopes to be back in action before the end of the month.

“I felt a jabbing pain just before I took a shot at Villa Park and I knew straight away I had a problem,” he told the club's official website.

“I decided to shoot anyway and stayed on for the corner to see if I could maybe nick us a goal, but it was pointless carrying on after that.

“This is an injury that can strike at any time to anyone and I’m sure it something that I’ll be rid of before too long, but it’s an on-going process and something that can’t be rushed.

“Obviously you don’t want to tempt fate but I’m not looking at this a lengthy absence and I hope to be back in a couple of weeks."

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