Manuel Pellegrini offers no guarantees over Vincent Kompany fitness
Manuel Pellegrini is ready to welcome back Vincent Kompany for Manchester City - but accepts there are no guarantees he will not break down again.
City's influential captain is set to return for Sunday's crucial Barclays Premier League game against Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.
It is the latest comeback attempt from the Belgium defender in a season in which he has again been hampered by recurring calf problems.
The 29-year-old's lay-off, since an aborted comeback against Sunderland against Boxing Day, was his 12th for a calf injury since the start of the title-winning 2011-12 campaign.
During his time out he has undergone additional analysis on top of routine rehabilitation in an attempt to discover any possible underlying causes of the issues.
But Pellegrini concedes there may be no way to avoid another recurrence.
He said: "It's impossible to know, but he's working without any problems, without fear, so it would be bad luck if he has another injury.
"It's very difficult to find a particular thing about a muscle injury. There's a lot of things you can do to try to have less injuries but no one will be sure you are not going to have any more."
Pellegrini says he would not risk Kompany - whose importance to City is underlined by statistics - if not fully fit, but he is confident he is ready.
Of the nine Premier League games Kompany has played this season, City have won seven and drawn two. They have lost six of the 16 in which he has not featured.
Pellegrini said: "I think that every player that will play the game must be 100 per cent fit and Vincent has been working the last three weeks without any problems.
"He played 45 minutes in a friendly with the under-21s so I think that he is ready now to play."
The return of Kompany, and playmaker David Silva's fitness after shaking off an ankle injury, means City have their core outfield players back together for the first time in five months.
City have not had Kompany, Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero on the field at the same time since September.
That positive development, however, is tempered by the news that Fabian Delph and Bacary Sagna have now joined a lengthy injury list that includes Eliaquim Mangala, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri, Kevin De Bruyne and Wilfried Bony.
Pellegrini said: "It's important to have our important players all together.
"We started the season with Vincent, Silva, Toure and Aguero, all of them playing in the first five games. After that, for different reasons, this is the first time they will play again together.
"But we are involved in all the competitions without important players so I don't want to focus on four players or one player."
England midfielder Delph is facing a lengthy spell out with an Achilles injury.
Pellegrini said: "Bacary has a problem in his knee, some liquid inside the knee, so he had an injection. He needs one week at least to return to work.
"Fabian Delph is worse because he has a problem with his Achilles tendon. He needs six or seven weeks to recover."