A groin injury forced Kompany to miss 16 matches over the calendar year, and led to speculation he may no longer have a future at the club.
The 30-year-old played 78 minutes of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton – his first start since April – but the spectre of a setback is always looming.
The City captain has fallen injured 34 times since joining the Premier League side in 2008, but it seems he’s learned his lesson.
Kompany told Sky Sports he’s promised to be cautious with his body – even if he has a burning desire to play.
“I’ve had to make one commitment to the medical staff, which was that I’d be honest towards them with my feelings, and that I would listen to them when they made a decision,” said the Belgium international.
It begs the question: Did Kompany disobey doctor’s orders in the past? The majority of his injuries have been muscular in nature, which, if not allowed to heal fully, can persist.
It’s unclear whether that is the case, but Kompany has clearly altered his state of mind.
Manager Pep Guardiola alluded last week to the mental scars left by the many injuries.
The Spaniard refused to pin down a target number of matches he’d like to see the captain play this season.
“So it’s just try to train good and after a week of training no injuries, we’ll play a game, and after that another one,” said Guardiola. “And after that we’ll see. But I think when he’s trying to play one game and after another one, he’ll take a lot of confidence. Maybe he’ll be able to play a few games.”