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Richards closing in on return

Micah Richards is targeting the Manchester derby for his comeback after five months on the sidelines.

Richards has been out since injuring his knee in Manchester City's 1-0 win over Swansea in October but has resumed training.

And while he believes he will not be ready to face Newcastle, City's next opponents on March 30, he hopes to be in contention for the meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford on April 8.

Failing that, the England international aims to be available for City's FA Cup semi-final on April 14 against either United or Chelsea, who replay at Stamford Bridge on April 1.

Richards told City's official website: "I'll be trying my best to get back into the squad and it will be great just to be back among the lads and getting a feel for everything again.

"I think the Newcastle match will come too soon for me, though I hope to have been training normally by then.

"Realistically, I'm looking more to the game away to United and then the FA Cup semi-final - maybe against United again to be properly involved again - two relaxing games in a week on the horizon!"

Richards, who was also hurt on Olympic duty with Great Britain in August, has been limited to four City appearances this season but said his comeback is progressing well.

He added: "In the last ten days I've been training outside again, doing two days of running and then a recovery day after that.

"I had a big fitness session on Tuesday and I'm starting to feel really good again so when the lads are back from international duty, I should be taking part in partial sessions with them as I continue to close in on a return."

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