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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Vincent Kompany must prove his long-term calf problems are behind him.
The City captain is currently recovering from
a thigh operation and will miss the start of the Premier League season, and
Guardiola wants to make sure the Belgian is fully fit before
considering him for a first-team return.
Kompany suffered five injury lay-offs and played just 22 of City's 58 matches last season, and missed his country's Euro 2016 campaign after limping out of City's Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat to Real Madrid on 4 May.
The 30-year-old has travelled to China for City’s pre-season tour, but Guardiola says he will not rush him back to action.
"What happened with Kompany the last two years it was so difficult for him and the team," Guardiola said.
"The important thing is not when he’s coming back, it’s to be fit and ready to show he can play one week and one week more.
"That he can play regularly – especially that he can train every day.
"Then we will see again the best Vincent Kompany.
"The most important thing is not to be back as soon as possible. The most important thing is when the doctors and physios say he’s already fit.
"If the doctor says he is fit for the first game against Sunderland great. If it is the Champions League qualifiers in August great. If not, September. If not, October.”
Guardiola also confirmed he will shake Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's hand ahead of Monday's pre-season derby in Beijing.
The pair have a strained relationship from their time in Spain managing Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively between 2010 and 2012, but Guardiola says there will be a handshake before the International Champions Cup pre-season friendly at Beijing's National Stadium.
"Of course I will shake his hand. Why shouldn't I? We are polite guys. I want to win. So does he," he said.