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Ilkay Gundogan hopes to return for Manchester City in pre-season

Ilkay Gundogan hopes to be back in training with Manchester City at the start of pre-season this summer.

The German midfielder's impressive first campaign at City ended prematurely when he underwent surgery to repair cruciate ligament damage last December.

Gundogan was one of manager Pep Guardiola's first signings when he joined the club in a £20million deal from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

The 26-year-old told ESPN FC: "It is getting better. It is a little bit frustrating but injuries are part of football.

"Unfortunately my injury is a long-term injury, it takes quite a few months to recover, but I am okay with that. That is fine for me, I work hard.

"I just try to do the best every day and try to come back as soon as possible on the field. Hopefully I can start pre-season."

Gundogan was speaking in New York where he and team-mate Gabriel Jesus were promoting City's involvement in this summer's International Champions Cup in the United States.

Striker Jesus made an instant impact after joining City from Palmeiras in January but is also now injured having broken a bone in his foot last month.

The 19-year-old, who has not been ruled out for the rest of the season, said: "It was something I didn't want but it happened. I am getting better every day and I am working hard to get back on the pitch."

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