Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists the injury to star striker Sergio Aguero is not serious and says a congested fixture list is behind a growing list of absentees.
A heel injury meant Aguero was missing as City limped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday and the Argentina international will also sit out City’s final Champions League group stage encounter against Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday.
Defender Martin Demichelis is also out with a tendon injury, joining the likes of captain Vincent Kompany (calf), Samir Nasir (knock), Pablo Zabaleta (knee) and Fernando (hamstring) on the injury list.
Pellegrini is confident Aguero can soon return to training, but is unhappy at the lack of recovery time between fixtures.
“Sergio has an injury which means he cannot work normally, so he needs time to recover,” he said. “It’s not serious, it’s a pain injury.
“We hope he will be back this week but we’ll see how he improves in the next day. If he can run with normality, he can work.
“The other players missing are Kompany, Demichelis, Nasri, Zabaleta and Fernando. Demichelis has a problem in his tendon which he already had in the last game, so I thought it wouldn’t be good for him to continue playing. He should be back in two to three days.
“We don’t have that many players to rest – maybe there will just be two or three changes from Saturday. There have been too many games for the same players, but we need to make an important result [against Gladbach].”
Pellegrini, though, is boosted by the return of Yaya Toure, who missed the trip to Stoke with a muscular injury.
City are already assured of a place in the knockout stages, but have plenty to play for with top spot in Group D still in reach if they beat Gladbach and leaders Juventus lose to Sevilla.
“It’s important for the team to at least do their task and we’ll see what Juventus do against Sevilla,” he added. “It’s important for the team to finish at the top of the group – our target is just to win our game – we can do nothing about what happens in the other game.
“Borussia are a team in a very good moment. They’ve recovered a lot of positions in the Bundesliga. We are going to find a very difficult team – not only because they beat Bayern Munich but their results over the last couple of months.”