Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Olympique Marseille through a hamstring injury and could be out of action for two to four weeks, manager Pep Guardiola said on Monday.
Aguero was withdrawn at halftime in Saturday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at West Ham United with Guardiola confirming the 32-year-old suffered a muscular problem, only a week after making his first start of the season following knee surgery.
“It depends on the injury. We expect 10-15 days for sure minimum, or it could be three weeks or a month,” Guardiola told reporters. “When you are out for four or five months with a knee problem, you always have a risk when you come back.
“We tried to handle it the best as possible, (playing him)50-55 minutes in the games, but it was not enough to maintain it and get him through the games.
“We knew he was not in the best condition against Arsenal but without strikers that we had, it was important that he played 60 minutes. We have to be calm and hope he recovers as quickly as possible.”
Guardiola confirmed midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and defender Aymeric Laporte were available for Tuesday’s clash in France, while new signing Nathan Ake (groin) and striker Gabriel Jesus (thigh) were edging closer to their return.
“Nathan is so close to come back, Gabriel is 7-10 days to coming back,” he added.
City lack an experienced centre forward against Andre Villas-Boas’ Marseille in the absence of injured duo Aguero and Jesus.
When asked if the Etihad club could have bought a striker in the close season to add more options, Guardiola said: “Maybe we considered it and thought about it and another type of striker, but we could not.
“You know when you decide to buy a striker they have to be at the level of Aguero and Jesus and we could not afford it. This is the reality.”