This article is part of Football FanCast’s Injury News series, which considers the impact of the latest updates on players’ fitness.
Manchester City’s Rodri has returned to training ahead of the crucial fixture against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Pep Guardiola will be hoping for a fully fit team, as a defeat to the Reds would put Jurgen Klopp’s men nine clear at the top of the table.
Rodri has been out injured since he picked up a hamstring problem in the game against Atalanta a few weeks ago. The Spaniard has consequently missed the last three wins, which has forced in Fernandinho at the back and Ilkay Gundogan into midfield.
However, as reported by Tyrone Marshall of the Manchester Evening News, Rodri could be on the comeback trail. Marshall snapped a shot of the 23-year-old training, although he also reported that the midfielder did not complete the full session.
The fact Rodri only kicked a ball around and stretched at the recent session shows that he is not 100% fit. If he was ready to go, the coaching staff surely would have him back in full training and amongst the other players.
Clearly, the former Atletico Madrid man is not ready, and with Anfield up next, it’s just too soon for him to return. If the game wasn’t of such great importance, perhaps Rodri could come back, but the form of Gundogan must keep him sidelined.
The German has taken his place recently and registered a goal and an 8.2 rating against Aston Villa. This game came immediately after Rodri’s injury and goes to show that Gundogan can do the job for City right now just as well.
The form of the 29-year-old and his proven ability for City in the past few years must keep him in the holding role in Guardiola’s starting XI for now.