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Pep Guardiola returns to Manchester City training with one-to-one instructions for defender



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Manchester City have been boosted by the return of Pep Guardiola to training this week following a period away from first-team activities.

The Premier League champions’ head coach spent around three weeks away from duties at the Etihad Stadium having undergone emergency surgery on a back problem in Barcelona, before recovering from the operation in his home country.

Trusted assistant coach Juanma Lillo took on duties both on the Manchester City training ground and on the touchline in the Premier League, guiding the division’s top team to victories away at Sheffield United and at home against Fulham.

Those two results mean Manchester City return from the first international break of the new season with a 100 per cent winning record in tact, as they travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.

However, the biggest boost to the first-team squad will be the return of Pep Guardiola this week, with the club’s official media channels releasing the first photos of the 52-year-old enjoying duties at the City Football Academy.

With some photographs showcasing the Catalan boss with a beaming smile on his face, some of his first duties included one-to-one instructions for Nathan Ake, who will be hoping for a starting place in the capital this weekend.

The Netherlands international had Manchester City medical and coaching staff sweating during the international break, having been withdrawn at half-time of the 3-0 victory over Greece in European Championship qualifying.

Among other training ground photos, Matheus Nunes was also spotted on the ball for the first time since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and will be hoping to make a good impression on his new manager as soon as possible.

One doubt for the weekend could be Mateo Kovacic, with Croatian media revealing that the midfielder had missed both of his country’s international fixtures over the past fortnight due to a muscle injury in his back.