Belfast Telegraph

Aguero in contention to play after car accident

Sergio Aguero could make a speedy return to action as Premier League leaders Manchester City host Stoke on Saturday.

The Argentina striker was ruled out for between two and four weeks after breaking a rib in a car accident in Amsterdam a fortnight ago.

Comments from the 29-year-old's national team doctor later cast doubt over that prognosis, suggesting Aguero could be sidelined for up to six weeks, but he appears to be making good progress.

Guardiola, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "He did his first training session after what happened and he did it quite well. Hopefully, as soon as possible, he'll be back."

Asked specifically if Aguero could play this weekend, Guardiola said: "Maybe. We will see today. We are going to see at the last training session.

"Of course he is not 100 per cent but he has recovered quite well. It was not as dangerous as it could be.

"He explained what happened. When you think what might have happened, we are quite happy that he is back to training."

Aguero needs one goal to equal Eric Brook's all-time City goalscoring record of 177, which has stood since 1939.

The situation remains less clear concerning the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgium defender has not played since August due to a calf injury.

No date has ever been put on a potential return even though the problem is not regarded as overly serious.

Guardiola said: "Still injured. He's much better but it is still individual training for him. Hopefully he's in the last part (of his recovery). He'll notice how he feels and when he'll be able."

Another player City are without is left-back Benjamin Mendy, who has been ruled out until April after knee surgery. The Frenchman had made a big impression in the early part of the season and Guardiola admits his absence could shape transfer policy in the January window.

He said: "The big problem we have is Mendy - six months out. It's a big problem for us. We're going to suffer in this situation, even though we have Fabian (Delph), Danilo, (Oleksandr) Zinchenko. Mendy was and is so important for us and six months a long time."

Guardiola was asked about the possibility of another move for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, but he said firmly: "The window is closed now. Unfortunately it was long open, now it is closed. We will see about January. We are in October."

City top the table on goal difference from rivals Manchester United with performances earning Guardiola the manager of the month award for September.

Looking ahead to the visit of Stoke, Guardiola said: "They are defensively well organised with quality up front in (Xherdan) Shaqiri, Jese, and (Eric Maxim) Choupo-Moting. When they need the long balls, Crouch is unstoppable in the air.

"Last season we were not able to beat them here at home. It'll be a tough game."

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