Kevin De Bruyne has been named in Manchester City’s squad for the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia later this month, organiser FIFA has announced.
The Belgium playmaker has not featured for the treble winners since undergoing surgery on a hamstring injury in August.
De Bruyne recently said his recovery was going well but he was not expecting to return to action until the new year.
The 32-year-old’s presence in City’s official 23-man squad for the tournament indicates his comeback is indeed on track, but whether he will actually be fit enough to feature in Jeddah remains to be seen.
At the very least, it will be an opportunity for De Bruyne to return to first-team training at a warm-weather camp.
De Bruyne said he still had “a little bit to go” when interviewed by Sky Sports at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 26 but hoped to be playing again “from close after new year”.
The Club World Cup begins on December 12 but City, who are representing Europe as the Champions League holders, do not enter until the semi-final stage seven days later.
They will play the winner of the second-round match between Mexican side Club Leon and Urawa Reds of Japan. The final takes place on December 22.