London - Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri expects to return to action by end of March after initially fearing he could miss rest of the season with a thigh injury he picked up in October.
"The original estimate by the doctors was that I'd be out for between four to six months and the surgeon told me the same," Nasri told the club website (www.mcfc.co.uk).
"But I've already done two months and I'm targeting the international break in March to be back properly with the squad."
Manuel Pellegrini's men are second in the Premier League table after 23 games, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference and three points behind Leicester City, and Nasri hopes to return in time to help City's title push.
"We have a schedule and at the moment we are ahead... but I want to work hard and be back with the squad before the end of the season and I want to be back training normally with the team towards the end of March," he said.
City travel to face second-from-bottom Sunderland on February 2, after hosting Everton in the second leg of the League Cup semifinal on Wednesday and taking on Aston Villa in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.