Frank Lampard has revealed he is nearing a return to full fitness from the thigh injury sustained in Manchester City's 4-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur last month.
Lampard was forced off in the 28th-minute of the Premier League clash after a clumsy challenge from Erik Lamela, but has now hinted that he could be ready to return in time for Wednesday night's crucial Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow at the Etihad Stadium.
'I'm not far off selection,' he told the club's official website. 'Fingers crossed, if all goes well over the next couple of days, I'll be back in contention.
'I had a small injury in my thigh - an old injury I'd disturbed slightly.
'It wasn't as bad as I'd first feared but you have to be very careful with muscle injuries. That was the issue.
'I've been working very hard to get back because I was really enjoying playing at the time [I suffered the injury] and that was the bad thing about it.'
Having joined City on loan from MLS sister club New York City FC this summer, Lampard had been in fine form prior to the injury, scoring four times in seven games, including the late equaliser against former club Chelsea, to win the club's player of the month award for September.
With Manuel Pellegrini side's taking just two points from their opening three Group E Champions League games against Bayern Munich, Roma and CSKA, respectively, the home matchup against their Russian opponents is viewed as a must-win clash.
Lampard's big-match experience could therefore be crucial, considering the team's poor displays in Europe of late, whether he plays from the start or comes on towards the final stages to provide the Blues with a late spark.