Sergio Aguero injury latest: Manchester City striker may miss 'eight weeks' as City try to oust Roma in Champions League

The Argentine came off hurt at the weekend

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manuel Pellegrini challenged his Manchester City players to prove they are not reliant on Sergio Aguero as they go into their decisive Champions League group game with Roma knowing they will be without their leading striker for up to eight weeks.

On Tuesday night the City manager gave three different verdicts on the likely return date for his Argentine forward, beginning with “four, five, six weeks”, moving on to “certainly four to six weeks” before building up to “eight weeks”, the latter in a one-to-one interview with Sky Sports. The worst-case scenario would mean Aguero misses City’s game at Chelsea on 31 January.

Champions League latest scores: Roma vs Manchester City and Chelsea vs Sporting Lisbon

In the meantime, Pellegrini called upon his team to beat Roma in their final Group E game, reach the knockout round and prove that they were not solely reliant on the man who has already scored 19 goals for them this season.

The City manager said: “As I previously said, our team doesn’t depend on one single player and I hope my players can prove it [against Roma].”

He added that the critical period in the treatment of Aguero’s injury, a knee medial ligament strain sustained against Everton on Saturday, were the early weeks. “It’s an important stage right  at the beginning. Players  know this.”

Pellegrini was more upbeat about the likely return of other previously injured players. David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Stevan Jovetic and Fernandinho all trained with the team in Manchester in the morning before the squad travelled to Rome and all are expected to be in the squad for the game. Yaya Touré is suspended.

Pellegrini added: “We will see which are available to play but all of them, I think they could be ready. Maybe one of them we have some doubts, but I won’t say which one.”

aguero.jpg
Sergio Aguero in tears as he leaves the pitch injured

 

In order to qualify for the last 16 in second place behind Bayern Munich, City must first hope that the German champions do not lose at home to CSKA Moscow, a result that would see the Russians through regardless of what happens in Rome. City have to better any result that CSKA get. If both teams draw, City will progress as long as they get a scoring draw.

The City manager was also asked by the Italian press whether his longevity in the job depended on the club’s qualification for the second round. “No, I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s an important game and we all want to qualify, but I don’t think what happens will have any link to my future. I never received any kind of pressure from the club. I think we will qualify but it has nothing to do with my future here [at City].”

 

The City striker Edin Dzeko, still short of full fitness having played as a substitute against Everton, said he was ready to step into Aguero’s place. “I’m there when the team needs me and I’m happy to be back because first of all I was never actually injured so long – it was a bit hard for me,” he said. “But now I’m back and I’ll do my best to try and score the goals and bring something good to the team.”

Pellegrini said he had been reassured by the team’s form of late and believed that beating Bayern Munich had proved they were up to the task against Roma.

“It’s a very important game,” he said. “We started with a target of trying to qualify for the last 16. We have a good squad but made a lot of different mistakes in the other games, especially against the Russian team. But we still have our chances.

“We showed against Bayern Munich, we are fighting to qualify and I am sure we will do it if we play a good game. It’s very important for the club to play in the next round.”

Comments