EXCLUSIVE: Man City star Richards will be forced to follow special summer training programme after injury-hit season
And City's medical team are devising a specially-designed training plan, aimed primarily at strengthening his injured knee, for Richards to follow during the close season to ensure his body is ready for the rigours of pre-season given he'll have spent virtually an entire season on the sidelines.
Blow: Richards was stretchered off during the game against Swansea
Richards had hoped to be back playing at the beginning of this month, but his return was delayed after complaining of tightness in his injured knee during the latter stages of his rehabilitation process.
News of Richards' pending return will be a major boost to City manager Roberto Mancini ahead of his side's run-in.