Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus could return in two to three weeks after receiving treatment on his knee injury in Spain, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
The 20-year-old, who has scored eight Premier League goals this season, suffered knee ligament damage in the goalless draw with Crystal Palace as City’s 18-match winning run came to an end on December 31.
It was feared that Jesus could face up to two months on the sidelines but after a treatment session in Barcelona on Thursday, Guardiola is confident Jesus can play a part in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Basel on February 13.
“Gabriel was in Barcelona with Dr [Ramon] Cugat and things are quite good,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s league clash against Liverpool at Anfield.
“I think in two, three weeks hopefully for the Champions League game against Basel he could be fit.”
British media reports have linked league leaders City with a January transfer move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.
Guardiola, however, refused to discuss speculation surrounding the 29-year-old Chile international and said his focus remains on City’s trip to fourth-placed Liverpool.
“I understand completely this question, you make this question, but I am focused on Liverpool,” he said. “As a manager, you have a lot of worlds to deal with and you have to choose which one you are going to focus on.
“I would not like my players, when they see me on TV and read in the newspapers, [to see] the manager talking about another thing like they are not important. The important thing is the 90 minutes on the field.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in 14 league home matches against Manchester City, winning the last four in a row.