Football - Soccer-Manchester City defender Richards eyes February return

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Manchester City defender Micah Richards is hoping to return to action at the start of February.

Richards, capped 13 times by England since making his debut in 2006, had knee surgery in October after suffering an injury in the victory over Swansea.

"I am not putting a date on when I will be back because these things are never exact but I am hoping it will be in early February," Richards, 24, told the club's website (www.mcfc.co.uk) on Thursday.

"There is still not too much I can do but I am now on one crutch instead of two so that is progress.

"Of course it is frustrating and there is nothing more I would like than to be out there playing but I am being well looked after, the injury is responding and the knee getting stronger every day. I am busy trying to build the muscle up and I am doing some weights."

The Premier League champions lie second in the table, six points behind rivals Manchester United.

They travel to Newcastle United on Saturday.

(Reporting by Josh Reich, editing by Ed Osmond)