Updated: Tuesday, 19th March 2019 @ 10:52am

On the mend: Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry hoping to be fit for season opener following groin injury

On the mend: Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry hoping to be fit for season opener following groin injury

By John McDougall

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry is in a race against time to be ready for the start of the Premier League season.

Barry withdrew from Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 England squad after aggravating a groin injury in the 1-0 friendly victory against Norway in May.

He undertook abdominal surgery operation two weeks ago in Munich to solve what was an ongoing problem.

The 31-year-old is now preparing himself as best as he can for the defence of City’s Premier League title, with the Blues opening fixture being at home against promoted Southampton on August 19.

Barry told City’s website: “To head into the new season as champions gives you a great deal of confidence and myself and the lads are looking forward to trying to regain the title.

“This is my 15th or 16th pre-season and it’s the first one I’ve really missed, so I’ve been lucky up until now, but it is frustrating because pre-season is really important in terms of fitness for later on and I’m missing a big chunk of it.” 

Although frustrated at both missing pre-season and being in a fitness race, Barry is hopeful he can be ready in time for the start of the new campaign and play a major role in City’s hunt for silverware.

“Early signs [from the surgery] are really good,” he said. 

“I don’t really want to put a timescale on it, but hopefully I’ll be ready for the main games starting.

“At the minute my mind is just set on being fit and being out there 100 per cent and try and feature in as many games as possible this season.

“The immediate aim is to try and feel good when I start training with the lads, so I’ll take it one step at a time.”

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