Carlos Tevez's return to fitness has given him hope that he will be selected for a place on the bench for Manchester City's critical game with Chelsea tomorrow night.
The 27-year-old has lost a striking amount of weight and his fitness work, in and out of the gym, has left him in better physical shape than he was in pre-season. He also appears to be in a more positive frame of mind, having been immediately restored to the ranks of City's first team since apologising to manager Roberto Mancini 27 days ago.
While training with the elite development squad and reserve players, Tevez was unhappy to be asked to train in periods which seemed to be designated holidays. But it is understood he has been training when the players in Mancini's Premier League squads have been on days off, following games.
Quotes attributed yesterday to Gareth Barry, suggesting City need the Argentine, are understood to be false, but there is no resistance to him from Mancini's players. His potential to make an impact from the bench could be vital as City seek to make up the four-point deficit Manchester United have established against a Chelsea side who have won four consecutive games since Roberto Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas as manager.