Mendy & Kompany returning to Manchester to step up recoveries

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The left-back has been in Barcelona recovering from knee surgery for the last month while the Blues captain is struggling with a calf problem

Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy will return to the United Kingdom next week as he steps up his recovery from a serious knee injury, Goal understands.

And he will be joined by club captain Vincent Kompany, who could return to training following six weeks out with a calf problem.

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Mendy has been convalescing in Barcelona since undergoing surgery at the end of September to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligment in his right knee.

The France international joined City in a £52 million move from Monaco in the summer but was ruled out for six to seven months after he collided with Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend on just his fifth appearance for his new side.

City boss Pep Guardiola says the 23-year-old will be back towards the end of April, and sources have told Goal that he is currently on track with his recovery.

Having undergone numerous physiotheraphy sessions at Dr Ramon Cugat's Barcelona surgery, Mendy will report back to the City training ground next week. He will be assessed by the club's medical staff and follow a programme designed to get him back to full fitness over the next few months.

Mendy was pictured in Barcelona with Kompany and City youngster Brahim Diaz at the start of this week. Brahim suffered a knee injury for City's Under-23 side last weekend and is expected to miss three weeks, while Kompany is understood to have had a check-up on his persistent calf injury.

 

Injury FC teammates but we’ll be back soon !! Thx for stopping by @vincentkompany @brahim #SharkTeam

A post shared by Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) on

Sources have told Goal that Kompany could be back on the training pitch next week, having picked up his 15th calf problem in five years while playing for Belgium against Gibraltar in August.

The 31-year-old had initially returned to training following that original injury, but suffered a set-back and has been out of action since.

Mendy's personality has ensured he has become a firm favourite among both City fans and his team-mates, with his humorous social media output and lively presence in the dressing room helping him settle into life at his new club.

He has maintained that positive approach, both online and in private, despite his set-back, calling his team-mates and sending messages on a daily basis.

Guardiola has also said recently that he wants the left-back to be as close to the squad as possible when he returns to Manchester.

“He is a guy on the pitch who is so important but especially off the pitch, we were a good team last season and had good guys but we were quiet and I think he is a guy who can help us to make our lives happier," Guardiola said at a recent fan event, hosted by Betsafe .

"I’ve told him, he can come in the locker room every day, he should be with us and he is a special guy.”

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Mendy's team-mate, Ilkay Gundogan, went through a similar recuperation period after suffering cruciate ligament damage last December.

In a recent feature article in the New York Times , the midfielder spoke of how difficult it was to spend time recovering in Barcelona, and how he did not feel like a full member of the squad even when he returned to City's training ground, owing to the hours of recovery work away from the first team.

The Germany international returned to action in September, nine months after his injury, but has so far been used sparingly by Guardiola, though that is in part due to a minor ankle injury sustained on his first start since returning to full fitness.

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