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Erling Haaland injury update: Manchester City star set for return

Erling Haaland is finally set to return for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola confirmed he's available for their game against Burnley on Wednesday.

Haaland has not featured since early December and has been out for almost two months.

He suffered a foot injury against Aston Villa and suffered a setback as the Premier League’s leading scorer was given plenty of time to recover properly by Guardiola.

[ MORE: Latest Ederson injury update from Pep Guardiola ]

Haaland, who was named the second best player on the planet (behind only Messi) in FIFA’s best awards, stepped up his recovery on Manchester City's warm weather trip to Abu Dhabi, with Guardiola's side having a rare window of time to recover.

Ahead of City's game against Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, Guardiola confirmed that Haaland will return.

Latest Erling Haaland update

"Yeah, Erling Haaland will be selected. He's back. It's the first time he is back," Guardiola said. "We have all the squad [fit], we are stronger. He is an important player for us."

That, Pep, is an understatement.

What happened?

Guardiola said that Haaland had been dealing with a foot injury that reared its head in City's loss to Aston Villa on Dec. 6.

He's been out since early December and it has obviously been a big blow for City but Julian Alvarez has stepped up admirably in Haaland's absence.

Even though the Nordic goal-machine hasn't featured since early December, he still leads the Premier League in goals with 14. Although Mohamed Salah has equalled that tally as the race for the Golden Boot is now intriguing due to Haaland's injury.

What now for Haaland?

His absence has been felt because Haaland is not just a scorer. He is so much more.

The 23-year-old is a central focal point for the attack and City create so many chances off of Haaland's movement and the way he drags defenders out. With Kevin de Bruyne now back from injury, City have their two big superstars fit and available and Guardiola will be desperate for KDB and Haaland to link up again to drive them towards another run at a treble.

As you expect, Guardiola and City will be very careful with Haaland and won't risk a longer term injury given his importance to the team. Still, they will get him up to speed as soon as possible as City once again challenge for three major trophies.

Having Haaland rested over the gruelling winter months may actually work out very well when all is said and done this season.