Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero suffered a suspected broken rib in a car accident in Amsterdam on Thursday.
Leaders City travel to champions Chelsea on Saturday aiming to extend a run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions but their preparations have been dealt a double blow this week.
In a statement on Thursday, the club announced Benjamin Mendy sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during last weekend’s 5-0 home win over Crystal Palace, while news broke on Friday that Aguero had been involved in a car crash after attending a concert by Colombian pop star Maluma.
Initial reports suggested the 29-year-old, who has seven goals this season and is within one of City’s all-time record mark of 177 set by Eric Brook, would be sidelined for around two months due to the incident, which occurred on Amsterdam’s De Boelelaan road.
City issued a statement acknowledging Aguero had “sustained injuries” while in the Netherlands on his day off, without commenting on the nature of the problem, but Guardiola told a pre-match news conference his understanding was his top striker had suffered a broken rib.
“Sergio had an accident, is still in Amsterdam and is coming back today,” he said.
“I don’t know, I’m not a doctor, I don’t know exactly what he had. It was an accident but fortunately he can come back and I hope he recovers.
“The first impression we have is he has broken the rib, but exactly how long he will be off, we don’t know.”
PEP: No not yet (spoken with Aguero). I have been preparing training. I will speak to him today. First impression is he has broken his rib.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 29, 2017
Aguero also spoke about his injury to Argentine station Radio Metro, according to quotes published by AS.
“The taxi driver did not see the curve and [had to] skid. And when he skidded, we hit a pole,” he said.
“I broke my rib, now I’m resting. It hurts me badly. I’ll be discharged in a little while.”
Guardiola insisted repeatedly he had no qualms with Aguero travelling abroad for a late night out on his day off.
“They are off. I’m not the police,” he said. “Of course it’s a problem, I would like to be with Mendy, [injured captain Vincent] Kompany and Aguero.
“I want the players to be happy. Always I want the player to rest mentally and physically and enjoy their lives.”
Aguero’s absence means Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is likely to lead the line for City at Stamford Bridge, where they have won only once in their previous seven attempts, and for much a busy schedule that currently packs in 12 fixtures over the next two months at home and abroad.
Such high-class, specialist cover is not available to Guardiola at left-back, with Mendy – a £52million signing from Monaco during the close season and his only naturally left-sided defender – set to be sidelined until late April.
“Mendy will be operated on this afternoon in Barcelona and will be out until our semi-final of the Champions League,” Guardiola added, in an optimistic reference to his possible return date.
England midfielder Fabian Delph filled the role impressively during the 2-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, while right-back Danilo has also featured on his less-favoured side since joining City from Real Madrid in the previous transfer window.
Guardiola will again be without Kompany at the weekend due to his latest calf problem, and he insisted the central defender will not be appearing for Belgium next month despite being called up by Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez on Friday.
“Kompany, no way. He did not make one training session with us until one month ago,” he said.
“Roberto Martinez said he is going to make a meeting with the Belgian doctor but then he will come back. Of course he cannot play.”
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