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Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph close to return after injury

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Fabian Delph is close to a return for Manchester City after stepping up his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury.

Delph, 26, is back in training after missing nine games and is hoping to make an impact before the end of the season. The midfielder has not given hope of challenging for the Premier League title despite his side falling 15 points behind leaders Leicester City -- although they do have a game in hand.

"It was a bit of a tricky injury, this one," he told the club's website. "It was an Achilles problem, but I'm nearly there now and should start training with the team in the next few days and I'm really excited to be getting back out on the pitch again.

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster for us this season but all we can try and do is pick up three points in the next game and if we can do that and keep doing that in the games that remain, anything is possible.

"We've seen a few crazy things happen this season and I think there are more twists and turns to come so hopefully we can get back up there because we still believe.

"All we can do is try to improve on our recent performances and take each game as it comes."

Delph has had an injury-hit campaign since his controversial £8 million move from Aston Villa in the summer. He suffered a hamstring injury in a preseason friendly against Real Madrid and damaged it again in September -- just 90 seconds into a European Championship qualifier for England against Switzerland.

In total he has made just 11 starts for City this season but he remains upbeat about his move.

"Apart from my injuries, it's been a fantastic first year at City," he said. "The boys have welcomed me, the fans have been great with me and hopefully I can get fully fit, put all the injuries behind me and get going again."

Delph has made just one start in the Champions League but is hoping to be fit for the quarterfinal tie with Paris Saint-Germain. "They are great team who have many world-class players, but so have we," he said. "We'll have a game plan and if we execute that to perfection, I can't see why we can't come out victorious over the two legs."

The England international is also determined to prove his fitness to Three Lions' boss Roy Hodgson ahead of this summer's European Championship.

He added: "I really enjoy representing my country and it's been the highlight of my career so far. The niggling injuries have held me back buy hopefully I can get a few games under my belt before the Euros and try and impress the manager and if I don't manage to do that, I'll only have myself to blame.

"My overall aim is to finish the season strongly on a personal level and for my club and if that's enough to get me into the England squad for the championships as well, then that would be perfect."