Mendy back in Manchester City training

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In a boost for both the Premier League leaders and World Cup hopefuls France, the full-back returned to training with his team-mates on Monday.

Benjamin Mendy has returned to training with his Manchester City team-mates – less than six months on from suffering cruciate knee ligament damage.

France left-back Mendy made an impressive start to life at the Etihad Stadium, following his £52 million switch from Monaco in July.

However, the 23-year-old suffered his serious setback in a challenge on Andros Townsend during City's 5-0 September win over Crystal Palace, placing question marks against his participation in the rest of the current season and France's World Cup bid.

Following an interview with City's official website last week, Mendy played down suggestions he was targeting a return in the April 7 derby against Manchester United but he was photographed working with the ball alongside the rest of Pep Guardiola's squad on Monday.

City collected the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win over Arsenal at Wembley, where an ebullient Mendy led the celebrations, and the runaway leaders are on course to wrap up the Premier League title over the coming weeks.

Mendy might still have the chance to have a decisive impact upon City's Champions League campaign, with a 4-0 aggregate advantage over Basel strengthening Guardiola's hand ahead of Wednesday's second leg of the last-16 tie.

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The Premier League leaders can still record a treble, between the Carabao Cup victory, the Premier League and the Champions League, though the quest for the quadruple was surprisingly ended by Wigan last month.

Winger Raheem Sterling was also back on the training field having missed the past three matches with a muscular problem.