Manchester City's Gundogan itching to step up injury rehab

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The midfielder believes he will be fit to take part in training alongside his City team-mates when pre-season begins

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hopes to step up his recovery from cruciate knee ligament damage when his team-mates return for pre-season training next week.

Germany international Gundogan scored five times in 16 appearances last term but had his debut season in the Premier League curtailed when he seriously injured his right knee during a 2-0 win over Watford last December.

Gundogan has been working hard behind the scenes while his colleagues have been away on vacation and he anticipates doing some work with the ball on the field when Pep Guardiola's squad are back at the City Football Academy.

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"I'm just waiting for the team to come back and then maybe I am able to join in the first bits of every training session – some warm-up stuff, some passing and some tactical stuff. That would be quite good," the 26-year-old told City's official website.

"Hopefully over the next weeks I will be able to join them for the rest of the training sessions and the games."

Ilkay Gundogan Pep Guardiola Manchester City

The former Borussia Dortmund star is no stranger to extended spells on the sidelines after a dislocated kneecap ruled him out of Euro 2016.

"I'm quite sure that the psychological aspect is much more difficult than how your body feels," he said. "The physios and doctors and trainers are here and are responsible for your body.

"But in the end it is important to have a clear mind and to be stable, knowing what is important and what's not at that time. That's maybe the most difficult thing.

"It's always too long a rehab, to be honest, but think I'm doing quite well."

City moved quickly to secure Brazil goalkeeper Ederson and Portugal playmaker Bernardo Silva from Benfica and Monaco respectively early in the close-season.

Further arrivals are anticipated as Guardiola looks to reshape a squad that finished third in the Premier League and without a trophy last time around, and Gundogan is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Silva.

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"He's just showed in the Confederations Cup how he is able to play," he added.

"Also, no one expected Monaco to become French champions and to perform really well in the Champions League.

"He was part of that team and he did great. He will definitely have an impact in the Premier League as well, which will be good for us."

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