Pep Guardiola remains hopeful striker Gabriel Jesus will be back in action before the end of Manchester City's season.

Pep Guardiola remains hopeful striker Gabriel Jesus will be back in action before the end of Manchester City's season.

The Brazil international made an immediate impact after joining City in January, scoring three times in five appearances before breaking a bone in his foot in February.

The 19-year-old underwent surgery and there were fears he could miss the rest of the campaign, but he has now resumed light training and playing again this term has not been discounted.

Manager Guardiola said: "The crutches are gone. He has started to walk and hopefully he can come back to the pitches and start to run and make some exercises.

"Hopefully he can help us in the last games of the season and come back for us in the pre-season fit."

Forwards Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are both in contention to face Arsenal this weekend after suffering injury scares while on international duty over the past fortnight. Defender Pablo Zabaleta has also shaken off a knock.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has questioned why some international teams are playing friendlies as well as competitive matches at this stage of the season. Guardiola, who insists he is a fan of the international game, admits he agrees to some extent.

The Catalan said: "The federations and the managers want the players to play as much as possible to play games to prepare for the World Cup.

"Of course we want all the players to go there. I never avoid (prevent) one player from going. But we want them to go there and come back safe, and play as few minutes as possible.

"I agree a little bit. Now we play for many things. All the clubs are here for many minutes and the people are preparing for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the Europa League, for the Premier League, for qualifications, and it's a risk to play a friendly game.

"If we could avoid this, that would be better, but the schedule is the schedule. It's too many games. It's crazy how many games there are in all the leagues.

"Always the national team deserves to play games, but when we have 20 games in a thousand million competitions, it looks a little ridiculous."