Kolo Toure ready to make City return

Kolo Toure ready to make City return

Published Sep. 4, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Kolo Toure hopes to return to action on Saturday with a determination to prove what he already knows - that he can perform without diet pills.

Manchester City's former Arsenal defender has returned to training and is available for selection again after serving a six-month ban.

Toure will be targeting a return to City's match-day squad for the Premier League home game against Wigan next Saturday at Eastlands.

The 30-year-old Ivory Coast international was suspended from all football activity after admitting he had inadvertently taken bendroflumethiazide in some water tablets, packaged as dieting pills, that he obtained through his wife.


He knows there will be some observers who question whether his displays for City were affected by the use of the tablets.

That is despite the independent commission which assessed his case being satisfied Toure did not intend to enhance his sporting performance or mask the use of a performance-enhancing substance.

Toure told City TV: "I feel 24, 25 years old. I want to show all the people that think Kolo Toure needed tablets, water tablets, to be a better footballer.

"I just want to show them and that's what I will do.

"I will give 100% in every single game to show those people I don't need water tablets to be a strong man.

"I've been in this league for almost 10 years now, being unbeatable with Arsenal, doing a lot of good games.

"I just want to show them."

Toure explained he had only taken one week away from training during his suspension.

He was not allowed to join in with sessions at City until last month, due to his ban, but trained alone and with fitness experts in England, Ivory Coast and in New York.

Toure's time away from Manchester City has coincided with Joleon Lescott's emergence as Vincent Kompany's partner in central defense, a place that had been occupied by Toure ever since his move to City from Arsenal in the summer of 2009.

Now he is eager to make up for lost time by playing a key role for City.

"Sometimes when you come every day to training you can't realize how big it is to be a footballer," Toure said.

"I just realized how much we are lucky to be footballers and be able to play for a football team like City.

"To be able to come back and train with the team, come into the training ground, it's great."