Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan has stated that there is "no reason to rush" his return to Pep Guardiola's starting XI, as the German made his first appearance in the eight months in the 1-0 defeat to Girona FC.
Still a long way to go
Gündoğan's start to his City career has proven a mixed bag since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, with the highest of highs seeing him put in a man-of-a-match performance in the victory over Barcelona.
He has however felt the lowest lows as he suffered a knee ligament injury back in December which cut short his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, and the German has been battling his way back to fitness ever since.
The moment finally arrived on Tuesday as he came on as a second-half sub in the defeat to the La Liga newcomers, Gündoğan was pleased to make his return but admitted that there is "long way to go" to return to his best.
"I'm in a good way," Gündoğan told mancity.com "I still know that it's a long way to go but I was out for eight months."
"There is no reason to rush now," the midfielder cautiously stated. "When I feel good, when I feel ready, when I feel safe I'm ready to play and I'm ready to try."
"That's the target for the next weeks," the 26-year-old said. "There's an international break in the next two weeks so there's plenty of time to use that for training, maybe another one or two games if it's possible."
"Then, hopefully, after that break I will be ready to join the team fully," Gündoğan added. "When the manager and my team-mates need me, I want to be there."
Pushed back by The Baggies
It has been a summer of spending for City as Guardiola has looked to prepare his side for a Premier League title race, City have splashed nearly £200m on their first-team and don't seem to be stopping there.
City have heavily invested in their defence thus far with the signings of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo, but The Citizens are looking to add again with the pursuit of Jonny Evans.
The former Manchester United defender could be handed first-team opportunities with the form of John Stones and Nicolás Otamendi and Vincent Kompany's fitness in question, it is believed that City put forward a £18m bid to West Bromwich Albion which has been subsequently rejected by Tony Pulis.