Sergio Aguero has given Manchester City an injury scare ahead of the busy festive period.
The Argentina international was held out of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth with a muscle injury, and he is doubtful to face Watford and Chelsea this week after Pep Guardiola revealed club doctors warned him Aguero could be ruled out until January if he aggravated the problem.
“The doctors told me (on Friday) Sergio cannot play,” Guardiola said. “If he plays, maybe it’s four or five weeks off. In that situation, this month, with a lot of games, he was not safe.”
Sergio Aguero is a doubt for games against Watford and Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)
City’s all-time top scorer therefore seems unlikely to make the trip to Vicarage Road on Tuesday or Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“Right now, I’m not quite sure,” Guardiola said when asked about Aguero’s availability. “We’ll see. That’s why I said before day by day we see. I speak with the doctors every day, they make a report and a briefing. They say ‘ready’ or ‘not ready’ and we decide.”
Gabriel Jesus started against Bournemouth in Aguero’s absence, but was unable to get on the scoresheet.
Though he scored a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk last month, Jesus has scored only one league goal for City in a largely frustrating season to date.
Aguero’s form has limited his playing time of late, but the 21-year-old said he was ready to contribute if needed following his own injury concerns which saw him miss last week’s Champions League win over Lyon.
“I’ve been training really hard, maybe that’s why I felt something in my groin last week,” Jesus said.
“Unfortunately I was out of the Champions League match that I really wanted to play.
“I always make it clear for Pep that I’m here to help the team regardless of how. Obviously that I want to play more minutes, but I respect who is playing at the moment.
Gabriel Jesus has only scored one league goal this season (Martin Rickett/PA)
“Hopefully I make the best out of my next chance.”
For his part, Guardiola praised Jesus’ all-round contribution against Bournemouth and said he had no concerns that the Brazil international’s goal drought would continue much longer.
“We just relax,” Guardiola said. “It’s work, this work ethic he has. Always I said to him: when you work like he works on the pitch, always we will sustain him. We will always be there.
“Football is not for one player the reason why he plays bad. He helps us a lot. Gabriel is a delight. He’s young, the same as the other ones, he will improve because has the desire to improve and that is important. He helped us a lot.”