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Benjamin Mendy returns for Manchester City U23s to play for the first time since September

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has made significant progress in his return from long-term injury by turning out for the team’s Under-23s in their home match against their Manchester United counterparts.

The France international, who has been missing for seven months with a knee problem, played 45 minutes as the Sky Blues reserves held their local rivals to a 1-1 draw.

City spent big on Mendy, paying £52m to bring him to the club from Monaco in the summer, but he has not featured for them since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in September’s 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

After making his return in the U23s derby, Mendy took to Twitter to thank City’s staff, players and fans for helping him through a difficult time.

City’s senior squad are back in Premier League action this weekend when they travel to Wembley Stadium to take on Tottenham Hotspur.

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