Midfielder David Silva has welcomed Carlos Tevez's return to Manchester City and backed the Argentinian to play a key role in the title race.
Silva met Tevez at the training ground on Thursday morning as the process of reintegrating the striker into the Barclays Premier League leaders' first-team squad began. Manager Roberto Mancini said on Wednesday that Tevez could be back playing in two or three weeks after accepting an apology from the 28-year-old for his recent conduct.
"I just saw him this morning for the first time at training. I just wished him all the very best before he left. He was a very important player for us. If he is back with us, then perfect," said Silva.
"Carlos is a great player and if he is physically fit he would be a very good player to have. But it will be down to the coaches and the technical team to decide who plays and who doesn't."
Tevez has not played for City since refusing to warm up during the infamous Champions League loss to Bayern Munich in September. He reported back to the club last week after failing to secure a move in the January transfer window.
He was given his own fitness programme but his apology earlier this week has opened up a route back into training with the first team.
Tevez has been the club's top scorer in each of the past two seasons and has struck 52 times in 91 games since his arrival from Manchester United.
He was also the inspirational captain behind last year's FA Cup success - City's first trophy win in 35 years - and increases striking options that already include Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli. Silva expects him to fit straight back in.
The 26-year-old said: "Carlos has shown before he has great character and determination and for someone like him it would be easier to get into form than for others.
"It is very important to have those four great strikers with us. It makes it easier for the people playing behind them. We all know they are great players and it could be an important factor to help us win the title race."