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The 21-year-old has been out since October with successive hamstring injuries to each leg, but he is nearing his comeback and hopes to challenge for a starting place.

Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell is less than two weeks away from reaching full fitness after being ruled out since October with successive hamstring injuries.

The midfielder has played just six matches since joining the club from Everton in the summer, but the 21-year-old is confident his City career can now begin in earnest.

"I feel really fit – I’ve been doing a lot of strengthening work, because I’ve been out so long with my hamstring injuries, so it’s taken time," Rodwell told the club’s official website. "My first injury was my left hamstring which kept me out for five weeks, and then my right hamstring started to niggle, which put me back to square one.

"It’s easily the worst injury setback of my career, because I’ve been out for more than three months now. It’s been frustrating and like most players, I’m not the best spectator in the world – it obviously helps when the lads win - but I’m almost there now.

Javi Garcia and Gareth Barry occupied the two center midfield positions against Arsenal on Saturday with Yaya Toure away at the Africa Cup of Nations, but the England international is looking forward to challenging for a starting place upon his return.

"I feel like my career here hasn’t really got started yet, even though I feel really settled and at home now," Rodwell said. "I’ll begin full training this week – all being well. Then I’ll need 10 days to a fortnight to get back up to speed, and I’ll be available for selection again."

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