Dunne back in training

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Manchester City have been handed a boost with the return of defender Richard Dunne to training.

The Republic of Ireland international initially looked to be out for up to three months after cracking a bone in his foot during the club's pre-season tour of Thailand.

The stopper became involved in Joey Barton's infamous late-night bar confrontation during the tour, with the 25-year-old ending up kicking a wall in frustration at his team-mate's antics after stepping in as a peacemaker.

The foot injury looked to have ruled Dunne out of City's start to the new Premiership campaign but, after responding well to treatment, the defender is set to train with the squad on Tuesday.

City also confirmed that captain Sylvain Distin's groin injury is only a slight strain and that he should be out for only a couple of weeks.

There were fears the Frenchman faced over a month on the sidelines with a suspected abductor muscle tear after picking up the injury in training last week.

One player that will miss the season kick-off is youngster Stephen Ireland after the striker fractured his wrist in City's friendly with Greek giants Olympiakos last Saturday.

"Stevie Ireland broke his wrist on Saturday and he will be out for probably three weeks," Pearce told the club's official website.

"He will have a light cast on, but it will still be a couple of weeks."