Michael Johnson's return to fitness after an 18-month injury nightmare will be like signing a "multi-million-pound player" for Manchester City, reports the Manchester Evening News. The 21-year-old midfielder, who has been struggling with a mysterious pelvic injury, played the full 90 minutes in Monday night's 1-1 reserve draw with Blackburn.
Coach Eddie Niedzwiecki told mcfc.co.uk: "Jonno is a young player who's had an horrendous time with injuries, and at times you could see it in his face that he was devastated by what had happened to him.
"As a youngster, all you want to do is to play football, to be out there. Instead, he had a year out after doing ever so well at Sunderland at the end of August and then breaking down."
There have been a few questions about Johnson's lifestyle during his time on the sidelines but Niedzwiecki is quick to point out that being unable to train usually leads to weight-gain in athletes.
"However hard you work, if you're not playing you put on the odd pound here and there," he added. "But, believe me, Jonno has been working really hard and he's looking better by the day and by the game.
"He came on against Scunthorpe and scored that wonderful goal, and the boss and Mark Bowen are both of the opinion that for him to come back is like signing a multi-million-pound player.
"Michael is a quality footballer and the target is just for him to be playing games, working on his fitness and training day in, day out. He has missed that."