Sergio Aguero has handed Manchester City a huge boost after returning to training ahead of schedule.
Aguero underwent knee surgery in June after damaging ligaments during City's 5-0 win over Burnley.
The operation ruled Aguero out of the final stages of City's Champions League campaign in Lisbon, as well as the start of the new domestic season.
The Argentine ace was expected to be sidelined until November, with City boss Pep Guardiola admitting the striker struggles to recover as quickly as other stars.
But it has emerged that Aguero, 32, is recovering ahead of schedule and could be available again following the international break.
City's all-time leading scorer could be among the substitutes for his side's Premier League clash at home to Arsenal on October 17.
His return will be a major shot in the arm for Guardiola, who has also lost Gabriel Jesus to injury in the early weeks of the season.
Jesus started in the opening day win over Wolves but has been missing ever since, leaving Guardiola short of striking options as he looks to win back the league title from Liverpool.
Guardiola has deployed Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling in false nine positions in recent games, but City have taken one point from their last two league matches to find themselves off the pace in the title race.
And pundit Jamie Redknapp believes City's poor start is down to Aguero and Jesus' absences.
He said: "It doesn't bode well about Aguero and Jesus, in the five games they've not played or been involved they've lost four of them.
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"It shows you need goals from other areas.
"You've got Raheem but I think he's better coming from deeper.
"Shows they need to strengthen that area. They've spent millions on defenders, but they need to replace Aguero sooner or later."
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