Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that striker Sergio Aguero may miss the opening two months of the Premier League season through injury.
The forward sustained a knee injury against Burnley during City’s second game back after lockdown, subsequently missing the Citizens final 10 domestic fixtures and the remainder of their Champions League campaign.
Aguero still finished the season as City’s second top goalscorer with 23 goals in all competitions – despite playing 21 fewer games than Gabriel Jesus, who found the net the same number of times.
However, Guardiola is unsure whether the club’s record goalscorer will be available until November.
“We knew the injury was difficult,” said Guardiola [via BBC Sport]. “He still hasn’t had one training session with us and Sergio is not a guy who regains his physical condition quickly.
“He has been out for a long time, so maybe in one or two months he will be ready.”
Should Aguero be absent for a full two months, he could miss up to eight Premier League fixtures, in addition to three Champions League group stage matches.
This could include City’s crucial home tie with defending Premier League champions Liverpool on Saturday 7 November.
Guardiola’s side also have fixtures against last season’s surprise Champions League contenders Leicester, Mikel Arteta’s in form Arsenal and a trip to Tottenham before November is out.
City kick off their campaign on Monday evening against Wolves, with Jesus the most likely contender to step into Aguero’s shoes after finishing the season with five goals in 12 games.
Despite the injury concerns, Guardiola was in positive spirits ahead of the new season.
“I see the team in an incredible mood,” the City boss said (via the Guardian). “It is a joy to work with them, we’ve got good expectations to play good football, get the results they deserve and continue the consistency.”