Benjamin Mendy has no doubts that he will recover in time from a cruciate knee ligament injury to be back for this summer’s World Cup.
The Manchester City defender has been out since September after being injured in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace with initial hopes that he will back some time in April.
Mendy, 23, revealed he has been back running and working with the football and insists he will be available for the France squad that heads to Russia at the end of the season.
“I’m getting better, I’m in full rehabilitation,” he told BeIN Sports at the NBA game between Boston Celtic and Philadelphia 76ers in London on Thursday.
“I started running and working with the ball last week. Back by the end of May? It’s not a hope, I’ll be there.”
Mendy expanded on his regime in his column for The Times, saying he has been working hard in the gym to be available for the World Cup.
“I’ve been working very hard ever since, during the recovery, at the gym, etc. Now I’m able to run on a treadmill and I’m still taking the bike three times a week in the sauna, where it’s harder to pedal,” the defender said. “It’s such a great feeling when you finish those sessions. And I know it will pay off, I already feel stronger and sharper than a couple of weeks ago.
“I just started to go on the pitch to begin a specific program, and run closer to my team-mates. It’s so cold in Manchester now but it’s such a good feeling to be out running on the grass again. Being able to run is like a reward for everything I went through, even if I know there is much more to come.
“It’s already 2018 and the World Cup in Russia this summer is coming really fast also. It’s like tomorrow for me. To play this competition and represent my country seemed so far for me a few weeks back — and now it’s so close.
“I would be so proud to be part of this adventure. To feel the unique atmosphere of a major tournament. I already imagine how it would be, the different countries, the people, the fans. It’s very exciting!”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.