Manchester City news

Sergio Aguero could return to action

September 14, 2012
By ESPN.com news services

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, sidelined last month with a knee injury, is set to resume training Friday and could play vs. Stoke City on Saturday when Barclays Premier League action resumes after the international break.

Sergio Aguero fell under the challenge of Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne
PA PhotosSergio Aguero fell under the challenge of Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

"We will try with Sergio this morning," City manager Roberto Mancini said during a press briefing, adding that Aguero is a "maybe" for Saturday's match.

Ideally, Mancini would like to give his top scorer from last season a run out ahead of next Tuesday's Champions League game at Real Madrid.

"Sergio is not 100 percent but his knee is okay. Maybe he could be on the bench," Mancini said.

Meanwhile, fellow forward Mario Balotelli is clear to play after undergoing laser eye surgery during the international break.

"Mario is OK. Mario now sees everything," Mancini said.

Aguero has been sidelined since he was stretchered off in the team's 3-2 win over Southampton in late August with a knee injury. He made the trip to Buenos Aires for the international break but did not see action.

Midfielder Gareth Barry (abdominal) is not yet fully fit and defender Micah Richards (ankle) remains sidelined.

"Micah is injured for 40 days; he can play right back and right center defender," Mancini said. "This year, I think we will probably play more games than last year and we need to have one or two players more. This year, if we change, maybe we play three and two wide -- I think maybe Micah can play right centre back."

Defenders Maicon and Matija Nastastic, midfielder Javi Garcia and winger Scott Sinclair, all deadline-day signings last month, could play some part.

Garcia, who moved to Manchester City from Benfica on transfer deadline day for $25.9 million, has been working at Carrington during the international break but Nastasic, the defender signed from Fiorentina at the end of August, has been away with Serbia and will be assessed after he trains with his new teammates for the first time.

A final decision on Aguero will be taken after Friday's training session and Mancini told reporters: "He is getting better."

Mancini later again voiced his frustration at Aguero's recent international call-up for Argentina, branding FIFA rules as "stupid."

"He went there for five days; he worked with the (trainers)," Mancini said. "The Argentina manager wanted him there. This is a stupid rule because if we had a player who is injured for two weeks it is better he stays here."

Information from Press Assocation and reporter Richard Jolly was used in this report.