Brazilian sensation Gabriel Jesus boosted
Manchester City’s trophy hopes as he
returned to training earlier than expected
on his 20th birthday, the club revealed on
its website.
The striker — who joined City in the
January transfer window after they paid
Palmeiras an initial £27 million ($33
million, 31 million euros) — made a
sensational start to his English career with
three goals in five matches.
His hot streak was stopped in its tracks
when he broke a bone in his foot against
Bournemouth in mid-February — he was
expected to be out for between two and
three months.
City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to
the press on the eve of their clash with
league leaders Chelsea said he hoped
Jesus could play a role at some point
before the end of the season.
“Yesterday (Monday) was his (Jesus) first
day running on the pitch,” said Guardiola.
“I don’t know exactly how many weeks it
will be but he is at the end part of the
process. Hopefully he can help us over the
last games.”
City had earlier said on their website that
Jesus had defied expectations in returning
quicker than expected, “with the early
prognosis suggesting he could be out until
the end of the season”.
“He recently began working in the gym in a
bid to keep his fitness levels high -– and
on his 20th birthday, he returned to the
training field just seven weeks after his
initial setback,” said the statement.
“And although he didn’t take part in full
training, focusing instead on some light
ball work, it’s a sight City fans will
nonetheless have been pleased to see.”
His return comes at a timely moment for
Guardiola, who is desperate to maintain his
record of never going trophyless through a
season with any club he has managed.
City’s best hopes of ensuring that proud
record stands is perhaps in the FA Cup
where they face Arsenal in the semi-finals
later this month. In the league they are 11
points adrift of leaders Chelsea.