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Man City captain Vincent Kompany relieved to be back from injury

Vincent Kompany is hoping he has put his injury problems behind him after starting his first game for Manchester City in more than three months.

The Belgium international has been plagued by a recurring calf injury that has forced him to miss 17 of City's 26 Premier League games this season but returned in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The City captain admitted he was frustrated to be out for so long but insisted he feels ready for the rest of the season.

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Kompany told reporters: "I feel great. I've worked extremely hard. There's always that part that people don't see, the thing you do behind the scenes and for me it's been grafting and just making sure I get the most out of the rest of this season and the rest of my years where I can be at my top.

"So physically I feel good, although I've got to be honest the last five minutes I was blowing a little bit, but I would've liked the result, of course, that was the main thing."

Kompany, 29, has suffered 13 calf strains since he joined City from Hamburg in 2008. Asked if he was hopeful the issue was behind him, he said: "I'm always hopeful, of course.

Harry Kane
Vincent Kompany challenges for the ball with Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

"Obviously there's a little bit of frustration but I try to learn from the game. I'll watch the games, I'll do my assessments of what went well or what went wrong.

"I definitely won't let anybody decide for me when I'm going to come back or not, I decide when I come back stronger, I work more than anyone else to make sure that I do that and people who know me are not worried.

"The only thing is I want to achieve greatness, like anyone else in this industry and I want to be allowed to just play all the games, like [against Spurs]. We didn't win but I enjoyed it. But nothing will break me."

Sunday's defeat leaves City six points behind leaders Leicester City while they now trail Tottenham and Arsenal by four points.

But City have come from behind into their two Premier League triumphs in 2012 and 2014 and Kompany is refusing to give up on another title challenge.

He added: "We need to take some positives out of this performance and nobody is allowed to give up on anything.

"It's a setback but we wouldn't know our personal history well if we didn't expect to kick on from here."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.

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