Injured Aguero to miss Manchester derby, says Guardiola
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will miss the derby match against Manchester United on Dec. 7 after being ruled out for a few weeks by Pep Guardiola on Monday because of a thigh injury.
Aguero came off in the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Chelsea in the Premier League.
“He will be out for a few games,” Guardiola said. “I don’t know exactly, (but) for a few weeks he will be out.”
Asked if the 31-year-old Aguero will miss the derby, Guardiola said “yes,” adding: “Maybe we will have a miracle but I don’t think so.”
Before that, City has league matches against Newcastle and Burnley, and also plays Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday when a draw or victory will see Guardiola’s team advance to the knockout stage.
Aguero’s absence will mean more opportunities for Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus, who has scored five goals this season but started only eight times because of the presence of Aguero.
“I am not happy because Sergio is injured,” said Jesus, speaking while sitting next to Guardiola in a news conference ahead of the game against Shakhtar. “I don’t like it when my friends are injured but I work here every day and I am ready to play.”
Jesus said it has been frustrating to be on the bench regularly at City, especially having been a starter for Brazil at times over the past 18 months — including at last year’s World Cup in Russia.
“It is not easy,” he said. “Sometimes I am not happy because I want to play but I keep on working.
“When I decided to come to City, I knew it is going to be hard because we have Sergio, who is the top scorer of the club and he scores every game. I know this but I think I have a chance to play with Pep, with top players here and at great big club, so that is why I came, to enjoy and learn.”
Guardiola praised Jesus for being “so humble” and accepting the competition with Aguero.
The striker signed a five-year contract extension last year.
“He knew the situation with Sergio before he extended the contract,” the City manager said. “My advice to him was, ’If you are not sure, you can go to other places. And he said, ‘No, I want to stay here.’
“We will do everything to keep him here as long as possible.”
Guardiola said playing Raheem Sterling up front was another option during Aguero’s absence.