Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has dispelled hopes that Sergio Agüero will be fit for the derby against bitter rivals Manchester United by confirming that the Argentine will be out for a month with a hamstring injury.
The striker, who scored five goals against Newcastle United in his last Premier League outing, pulled-up with the muscle injury whilst playing in Argentina’s shock 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Ecuador.
Midfielder David Silva and left-back Aleksandar Kolarov are also out for Bournemouth’s visit to the Etihad this Saturday, as both are expected to spend a fortnight on the sidelines.
Silva suffered an ankle injury in Spain’s 4-0 win against Luxembourg while Alexsandar Kolarov limped off from Serbia’s 2-1 loss to Portugal with a hamstring injury.
Speaking to the club’s website, Pellegrini said: “Sergio has a muscle injury – it’s an important injury so I don’t think he will be back before one month.
“Silva has a kick in his ankle – he’s also out. Kolarov also has a hamstring injury.
“We’ll see how they [Kolarov and Silva] improve in the next week – I hope both of them can be back in 15 days.”
On a lighter note, Yaya Touré, Samir Nasri, and Fernando are all available once again according to Pellegrini, who said: “Yaya and Samir are both recovered, Fernando had a small problem in his knee but he’s recovered.”
The international break was an especially trying one for the former Real Madrid manager, as Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany, was used in Belgium’s dead-rubber 3-1 win over Israel in spite of concerns surrounding his own fitness.
Pellegrini was clearly incensed by Belgium manager Marc Wilmots’ decision to play the central defender, insisting: “I was not pleased because we sent Vincent with a medical report saying he cannot play but as the Belgium manager said, he can do what he wants.
“If a player withdraws from a national team squad, he cannot play for his club team in the next game.
“Vincent didn’t play in our last three games – it’s not my duty to do it but some day clubs will protest that as it should be the same thing the other way.
“The national squad have all the rights to do what they want, we can just make a suggestion with a medical report.
Kompany himself has denied he was playing through any injuries, but Pellegrini was still evidently annoyed, saying: “It was just important for him to work a whole week before playing a game.
“He couldn’t do it because he played with Belgium so we’ll have to see when he can return to his position for us.”
With Agüero out, Ivorian Wilfried Bony looks set to replace City’s top-scorer in the side in spite of concerns surrounding the former Swansea City man’s efficacy in the sky blue of City.
But Bony certainly has Pellgrini’s confidence, as the manager said: “I always trust Wilfried – he’s a very good player. He’s had very bad luck here. He arrived here in January, he went to the African Cup and then he had problems with his knee.
“Last season he couldn’t demonstrate what he can do but now he has the responsibility. It’s not just Wilfried, we also have Kelechi [Iheanacho] – the team is the most important thing, how we are moving forward.”
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC1 via YouTube, with thanks.