Mark Hughes is optimistic Michael Johnson is finally over his injury troubles and is ready to play a role for Manchester City this season.
Johnson endured a frustrating last campaign and has not played a first-team match for City since last September due to a pelvic problem.
He has been involved in pre-season training and City boss Hughes is looking forward to the 21-year-old battling for a place in his midfield.
"It has been a real frustration for Michael and for us, but he has worked hard through the summer and is in much better shape," Hughes told the club's official website.
"The main thing is hopefully keeping him pain free which was the concern last year when he was always getting niggles that held him back.
"He is very positive at the moment and hopefully he can have a good pre-season, clear of injury and he will be an option for us.
"He started really well and I was impressed before he got injured. We haven't seen enough of him in the blue shirt. Hopefully that will change.
"We can see why the lofty labels were put on him because he has a lot of the attributes that would be really helpful to the team and he was a big loss last year. There were games in which he would have undoubtedly have had an impact.
"Hopefully we have now got to the bottom of the problem and he is more confident that his body will stand up to the rigours of Premier League football. Hopefully he is clear in his own mind that he is over the injuries."