The Algeria international has undergone medical checks to ascertain the substances he took while on international duty
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed Riyad Mahrez’s readiness for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against West Ham United.
Mahrez missed the Citizens’ Community Shield triumph over Liverpool last Sunday because of concerns over medications he took while on duty with Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
At the end of their of last outing at Wembley, Guardiola said he did not want to risk his participation as the club doctors could not verify the substance he had taken.
Meanwhile, the Algeria FA replied to the issue and described it as ‘a non-event’ for them and a problem for the Manchester club because it happened after the continental competition in Egypt.
Ahead of their trip to London on Sunday, Guardiola assured media the situation surrounding Mahrez’s medication use was now clear clear and he could feature against the Hammers.
“One moment last week, anti-doping made the tests and everything is clear and everything is fine,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“Our doctors came to me and said we don’t know exactly [what he took] because they know every time they take something, they have to inform the club to make a list and everybody knows it.
“We pass one or two controls every month but in that moment, we didn’t have it because he did it in Algeria. That’s why I said with precaution that I didn’t use him [against Liverpool].
“This week they came and made a test control. He passed and that’s why he is ready for tomorrow.”
City were dealt a huge blow on Friday with Leroy Sane set to spend seven months on the sidelines after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.
Although he is worried about the German’s injury, Guardiola hinted that the setback could get Mahrez improved playing time compared to last season where he made just 14 starts in the league.
“The quality from Leroy Sane, we don’t have it – a little bit with Raheem Sterling, but the special quality of Leroy is not [easy to find] around the world. His attacking the space with quality of speed,” he added.
Article continues below
“Riyad has another one, he doesn’t come to make a substitute for Leroy. In my opinion, after reviewing a few games of Riyad from last season, I was quite impressed, it was real good.
“The problem was he didn’t play too much because the players in those positions were some of the best players in the league last season – Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.
“But, of course, now with Leroy absent we have more space and a lot of games and one less player upfront so he is going to play.”