Despite not playing for Manchester City's first team since last September, City boss Roberto Mancini is likely to put Carlos Tevez on the bench tomorrow (March 21) for the blues' crucial game against Chelsea.
Tevez was at the centre of controversy last year following an unauthorised three-month absence he embarked on after upsetting the club when he refused to warm up in City's Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich. His dispute with the club has now ended but after a lengthy duration of time spent off the pitch his dwindling fitness has resulted in him not being picked for the starting eleven.
Mancini said of the striker's physical health: "He is getting better but I don't think Carlos can have more than 25-30 minutes. A player like Carlos needs to play but for 90 minutes it is impossible. But if he can play 30 minutes, after 45, then in three or four games he could have 90 minutes, easily.
"Tomorrow we will decide [whether to include him as a substitute]. We want to know the situation with the players."
Although Mancini seems unwilling to confirm or deny Tevez's involvement with the game against Chelsea, it has been reported that the Argentinean has lost weight and his fitness levels are higher than they were during pre-season.
Manchester City will be desperate for a victory tomorrow after falling four points behind current Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester United. Tevez's teammates have spoken about his possible inclusion in the match, with Joe Hart saying that "having Carlos back will be like having a new signing" and James Milner adding that Mancini "wants to the league" and that "if he feels Carlos Tevez can win him football matches then he'll pick him up".
Mancini echoed Milner's comments, saying: "We will win the title, we will win. We will do everything to win the title. We need to think positive always. Until now we have had a fantastic Premier League, we need to continue like this. We play one game a week, we can have more concentration about this."