Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has hinted that Carlos Tevez could feature in next week’s crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea.
The 28-year-old Argentina international striker has not been used by Mancini since September when he was accused of failing to warm up during the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
Tevez has played two reserve games in recent weeks to build his fitness levels up but is ineligible to play in Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg encounter with Sporting Lisbon. City trail 1-0 after last week’s first leg in Portugal.
Asked whether Tevez would play his first competitive live football for six months against Chelsea, Mancini replied: "We will see in the next week. It depends on Carlos. Will he be OK? Probably, but it depends on a lot of things."
When City play Chelsea they could be four points behind rivals Manchester United in the title race.
Mancini’s team lost the leadership of the Premier League on Sunday when they were beaten 1-0 at Swansea City while United were easing to a 2-0 victory against West Brom, meaning their premier league odds have slipped in favour of their bitter rivals.
United play at Wolves on Sunday while City are without a match this weekend.
Tevez has scored 44 goals in 69 Premier League games for City having previously played for Boca Juniors, Corinthians, West Ham United and Manchester United.
He seemed certain to leave City during the January transfer window after returning to Argentina without the club's permission, but now looks set to return to action this month.
City’s faltering run away from home is behind their recent stutter. They have won all 14 of their Premier League matches at the Etihad Stadium this season but have secured three-point hauls in only two of their last eight away games.