Manchester City defender Micah Richards is aiming to return to the squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Arsenal.
Richards has endured a frustrating recent spell because of injury, sitting out the last four games with a knee problem. However, after missing the derby defeat by Manchester United at the weekend, he is anxious to play a part in the remaining matches as City chase a Champions League place.
Richards accepts he faces competition for the right-back slot from Nedum Onuoha and Pablo Zabaleta, but said: "I am going to train later this week as long as it is comfortable and hopefully be available for the Arsenal game."
He added: "It is going to be hard for me to walk straight back in after three weeks out but that is up to the manager. All I can do is work hard."
The 21-year-old admits time is running out if he is to make a late claim for a place in England's squad for this summer's World Cup in South Africa.
After playing regularly for the Under-21s, he has yet to convince manager Fabio Capello of his qualities.
Richards said: "Being injured has put a bit of a damper on things but I am remaining positive by training hard. I will give 100% and take it as it comes."
After the last-gasp derby defeat, the City players are aiming to get back on track - by going go-karting.
Richards added: "That will take our mind off things and help us relax. We always do stuff together, like going out for dinner or going bowling. All the lads get on."
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