James Milner could be on the Manchester City bench for their Europa League salvage mission against Dynamo Kiev at Eastlands on Thursday.
The England international has been restricted to just five City appearances in the past two months due to a persistent hamstring injury and has not featured at all since a 13-minute outing as substitute in the Premier League draw with Fulham on February 27.
However, he returned to training earlier this week and, with City looking to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit, boss Roberto Mancini said: "James is not 100% but he has worked with us for the past week and probably he can go on the bench on Thursday."
Mancini does need to check on the fitness of Nigel de Jong, who experienced some discomfort in the ankle that sidelined him for the previous month towards the end of Sunday's FA Cup win over Reading.
However, he is not prepared to risk Adam Johnson, either on Thursday or for Sunday's Premier League trip to Chelsea, preferring instead to allow the 23-year-old to gradually build up his fitness after a two-month absence with an ankle injury so he will be available after the international break.
"Adam has been working with the team for four days," said Mancini.
"It would be very difficult for him to play.
"Maybe it is better for him and us that he continues to work because he is the only player who can change a game for us."
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