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Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi passed fit - Argentina coach Martino

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Dan Thomas discuss the possibility of Lionel Messi joining Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Nicolas Otamendi has given Manchester City a welcome boost after returning to training with Argentina. The defender missed the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on a Sunday with a bruised thigh.

Otamendi joined up with the Argentina squad for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers in South America after the defeat and has been using 'compression boots' to aid his recovery. They are designed to help athletes with their rehabilitation by increasing blood circulation.

#Tratamiento #seleccionargentina ⚽️

A photo posted by Twitter Oficial: @Notamendi30 (@nicolasotamendi30) on

Argentina play Chile on Thursday and Bolivia next Tuesday and the 28-year-old is in the squad with City teammates Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta.

Asked about Otamendi's fitness, Argentina coach Tata Martino said: "Nicolas Otamendi is fine. We will evaluate his presence for tomorrow [Thursday]."

Otamendi picked up his leg injury in the first half of City's Champions League tie against Dynamo Kiev on March 15 shortly after his defensive partner Vincent Kompany limped off with a calf injury.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini had hoped that Otamendi would make a quick return but he missed the Manchester derby and was replaced by Demichelis, who endured a torrid time at the hands of United's teenager striker Marcus Rashford, who scored the only goal of the game.

It is the second positive injury news for Pellegrini this week with Joe Hart set to make a fast recovery from a calf injury.

The keeper was initially ruled out for a month but the keeper could be back within just two weeks after scans revealed the muscle damage wasn't as bad as had been feared.

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

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