Balotelli ready for Man City return

Mario Balotelli is fit and available for Manchester City’s Premier League-Champions League double-header against Stoke City and Real Madrid, the Daily Mail has reported.

Balotelli underwent laser eye surgery over the international break in an effort to correct a problem that had arisen from the striker’s use of contact lenses. It has been speculated that a month would pass before Balotelli was cleared to return to action but the Mail says the Italy international has trained without incident this week and is expected to be part of the group that travels to Stoke on Friday.

The Italy international will then be available to play La Liga champions Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Tuesday, City’s first Champions League fixture of the season and the first of a difficult group that also includes Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, the champions of Germany and the Netherlands respectively.

Balotelli has made only two appearances thus far this season, coming off the bench and playing 20 minutes on the opening weekend against Southampton, then starting a week later against Liverpool at Anfield. Balotelli was though withdrawn after an hour.

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