Wilmots eases fears over Kompany fitness

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has played down the latest fitness concerns over captain Vincent Kompany.

The Manchester City defender sat out full training with his national team-mates for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, ahead of friendlies against Italy and Spain for the newly crowned number one side in FIFA's world rankings.

Kompany ended a lay-off with a calf problem by appearing for an hour of Belgium's closing Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel last month - a move that went against the wishes of club boss Manuel Pellegrini and preceded him being benched for the Premier League leaders.

But Wilmots was quick to dismiss any new worries over the 29-year-old's availability and repeated his stance that the player's involvement versus Israel was ultimately to City's benefit.

"Vincent Kompany, Laurent Depoitre, Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen are following an individual programme of rehabilitation indoors," Wilmots told a news conference.

"This will be probably also be the case tomorrow. What matters now is the mental and physical regeneration.

"It's important to recover as much as possible about the two games against Italy and Spain. That's why they are rested."

Kompany was named on the bench for City's first two games back from the previous international break before leading his team out for the goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on October 25.

"I think we did exactly what we had to do," Wilmots said of the controversial Israel selection. "I have worked for a top team as well. You're between two fires.

"In this case a player and a manager had a conversation and agreed playing for 60 minutes would be the best preparation. Vincent agreed and we made the decision together.

"His situation is that he is a top professional player of 30 years who knows exactly what he needs to do to be fit. I allow him to work how he wants.

"Vincent works four times more indoors than on the pitch. Twice a week in the fitness and twice with me on the pitch is perfect.

"He has to be healthy. Many players come here injured and return healthy and match fit. I don't think we can do any better. It's not the first time this has happened over the last years."

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