The Daily Mail says Richards is ready to ease Manchester City's defensive problems by returning to first-team action this weekend.
The 25-year-old has not played this season due to a hamstring injury, but he is set to make his comeback against Stoke this weekend after making a successful return to full training.
Richards has made pleasing progress since his return, but City will take a cautious view with regards to his availability on Saturday.
In consultation with the club's medical team, manager Manuel Pellegrini will make a decision on Friday about whether Richards can make a playing comeback against Mark Hughes' side.
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