Manchester City's Mendy returns to training after lengthy absence

Manchester City's French defender Benjamin Mendy (R) vies for the ball with Feyenoord's Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Feyenoord Rotterdam and Manchester City at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, on September 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Emmanuel DUNAND

EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty

Manchester City had another reason to celebrate a day after beating Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, as Benjamin Mendy returned to training following his lengthy stint on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

The extent of his participation in Monday’s session has yet to be revealed after the club released images of the defender, along with Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph, in training for the first time since damaging ligaments in his knee several months ago.

Although a date has yet to be set for his return to the pitch, Mendy said last week that there is a “realistic” chance he could return for the Manchester derby on April 7.

“When I started my recovery, I had in mind the semifinals of the Champions League,” Mendy said on Friday. “That was my goal, but I am coming back a bit quicker than expected originally so maybe it will be possible for me to return sooner than that. I believe in this.

“I think it’s possible for me to come back within four weeks. It’s not a good thing to come back too soon and you have to take your time.”

The 23-year-old, who joined City from AS Monaco last summer for a £52-million fee, appeared in five matches in all competitions before rupturing his ACL during a Premier League encounter with Crystal Palace on Sept. 23.

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